No, there wasn't a short in the wiring or the light socket. No, the bulb wasn't loose. Nor was it defective -- we actually tried replacing it. No effect, the same thing happened. My wife and I each "accused" the other of accidentally turning it on or off, and each of us denied it -- multiple times. I began to wonder if the house was haunted. Either that, or we were both getting very absent-minded in our old age.
|Busted! The furry culprit|
is caught at last!
This is a kitty we had recently taken in, so we had not yet learned all his quirks. He arrived with the name "Waif," but nobody could remember that around here, so he started to be called "Tommy." Well, after the light bulb mystery was solved, he got a new forever name: Tesla! (For all you non-nerds, Nikola Tesla was a Serbian American scientist who discovered alternating electric current, among other things.)
As for safeguarding the light on Shabbos, we now loop the string around a nail up high on the wall so he can't reach it. There's no rule against animals turning the light off on Shabbos, but we humans don't want to be left in the dark. During the week, however, we leave the string down -- and at least once a day we catch Tesla pulling it on and off. Then he gives us a look that is almost laughing. Clearly he enjoys the game.
UPDATE 3/25/2016: Last summer Tesla disappeared. He went outside as usual, but never came home. Like so many of the stray cats we took in, he was a wanderer. I hope that wherever he is now, he is happy.
|Tesla resting -- and looking so-o-o innocent...|