A mum has been left “fuming” after her elderly cat mistook the snowy Elf On The Shelf scene she created for her kids for a litter tray.
As many parents up and down the country will know, unique and exciting ‘Elf on the Shelf’ ideas can be quite hard to come by, but mum-of-two Katie Wright hatched the brilliant plan to create a snow angel scene by simply spreading sugar across the kitchen worktops and placing the mischievous elf in the middle to surprise her children.
But they ended up with a little more of a surprise than they were expecting.
It turns out the Elf On The Shelf wasn’t quite as mischievous as the family cat Tilly though, who mistook the sugar for her litter tray and left a poo on the worktop, leaving Katie and the kids to come downstairs to an “overpowering smell” in the morning.
Katie might not have quite seen the funny side of it all, explaining that she was “fuming” her Elf on the Shelf plans didn’t work out, but thousands of people on social media certainly got a laugh out of it.
After taking to Facebook to share some rather grim photographic evidence of the ‘surprise’ left by the cat, Katie’s post has since gone on to amass well over 25K interactions, and thousands of shares and comments by people all across the globe who were entertained and disgusted by the incident both at the same time.
It’s certainly not something you see every day.
Speaking to The Sun about the unfortunate event, 34-year-old Katie – who is mum to Oscar, four and Kiera, two – said: “It’s only my first year doing the elf as my eldest is only just four,”
“Oscar has really enjoyed it though and we’ve taken it easy knowing we probably have a decade of elf placements ahead of us. So when I saw online someone do the snow angel elf, I thought that would be nice and easy.
“It only took five minutes so I took a picture and headed off to bed.
“In the morning Oscar came running into my room asking to find the elf and raced downstairs, but the minute we walked through the dining room, the smell was over powering. My first thought wasn’t that is was anything to do with the elf – I picked Oscar up, worried we were about to step in something.”
Katie explained she finally found the source of the smell and burst into hysterical laughter.
“The smell got stronger and I saw it… a giant poo with the elf,” she said.
“I screamed but my son luckily just laughed and shouted ‘poo on the kitchen.’ I was a bit frantic [and] I knew Kiera was on her way in and there was a giant poo to keep them away from, so I was flapping a bit and all of a sudden the cat jumped back up and started shuffling the sugar and I thought ‘oh god she’s going to wee too’, so I chased her out the cat flap and suddenly burst into hysterical laughter.
“Oscar thought I was crying and started saying ‘it’s ok mum’.”
Not expecting the post to go viral social media, Katie said: “I posted online and it went mad. I suppose it is funny – it looks as though my Elf on the Shelf for the day was a giant poo.
“Not exactly mother of the year as I had to swear Oscar to secrecy when he went to school later that day.
“Tilly, our cat is a diva – she’s really not liking of human company.
“She was ok and would accept the odd cuddle pre-children, but she’s really never forgiven us for having the children. It didn’t help that we’ve been renovating this big house and have just moved in so she’s had a litter tray for a month.
“She was probably just desperate and really, she’s just an old lady that wants to be left alone.”
‘Significant risk’ of UK gas shortages this winter, regulator warns
Energy regulator Ofgem has warned that the UK faces a ‘significant risk’ of gas shortages this winter.
According to reports in The Times, the regulator has unveiled concerns that the country could face blackouts over the coming months thanks to an undersupply of gas to Europe caused by Russia’s war with Ukraine.
Warning that a “gas supply emergency” could be looming ahead, the energy regulator has said that some gas-fired power plants could see their supplies cut off, which in turn would stop generators from producing electricity.
The alert comes just days before an expected update from the National Grid on the likelihood of countrywide power cuts this winter.
Responsing to arequest from SSE, which owns several gas power stations, Ofgem outlined what is set to be a huge issue of concern given that the UK relies on large gas plants to produce the biggest share of its electricity supply.
The regulator also pointed to rules that could see power plants penalised as a result of shortages, warning of a worst-case scenario that would see the “potential insolvency of gas-fired generators” caused by rules that require plants to pay huge charges if they fail to deliver on promised quotas.
Adding that the issue must be addressed to prevent a “significant impact on the safety and security of the electricity and/or gas systems”, the regulator echoed concerns now widespread in Europe as its comments followed a similar statement made by the International Energy Agency (IEA) this morning.
Europeans are already being told they must lower their thermostats and boilers in preparation in case gas supplies are cut off, with Paris-based agency IEA warning today that the EU must focus on getting underground gas reserve levels to 90% of capacity in case of a complete Russian supply shut-off.
Preparation are already being made in Europe with the German government having approved a set of energy-saving measures for the winter to limit use in public buildings. In France, meanwhile, companies have already been warned they may face energy rationing this winter.
Whilst the UK government is yet to announce any energey saving measures, Ofgem has said that it expect s“this winter to be more challenging than last year” and that it is taking “reasonable regulatory steps to mitigate and reduce the risks”.