What killed the cat?
Have you heard ‘Curiosity killed the cat’? This phrase started out as ‘care kills a cat’ in a medieval play. Like Chinese whispers, the saying was passed on down the ages, changing a little each time. A New York newspaper printed a story titled ’Curiosity killed the cat’ when an inquisitive cat climbed a chimney flue and got stuck. The poor cat went splat!
Two Cat Splat
Mrs Worry placed the cardboard box carefully on the table. Inside, cowering in a corner, was a beautiful white cat. She read the instructions:
“Dear cat owner, your cat is called full-of-care Claire. She has 9 nines to live, more than enough for the average cat. Every bad decision means one life is lost, thus helping her learn to make better decisions.”
Full-of-care Claire sat and looked around. The house seemed full of danger: overhanging plates, curtains to catch her claws on and worst of all –yellow pollen flowers to stain her lovely white coat. The garden has to be safer. She crept outside.
She was backing towards the door when suddenly something furry-tailed dropped from a tree and ran along the garden wall. A squirrel! It sat facing the other way, nibbling a nut.
I could chase it! thought full-of-care Claire. She so loved watching them run, but… the wall was high. And she might fall onto the prickly bush underneath. She licked her paw and life 1 rolled away. Drat! thought the cat.
She wandered to the pond and peered down. A fish swam up and blew kisses at her. For a moment, full-of-care Claire had a chance to swipe it and eat it. But the dirty water worried her, and the water weed. She paused too long: the fish disappeared and life 2 rolled away. Double drat!
At exactly the same time Mrs Worry opened her cardboard box, Mrs Nosy, her next door neighbour was opening another cardboard box. Inside was a ginger stripy cat.
“Curious Sue has nine lives” read Mrs Nosy. “Oh I’m sure you won’t need all those Sue-Sue”. Immediately, the cat jumped up on the counter, knocking off the bread knife and a pot of coffee.
“Yowwwwwww!” screamed the cat and life 1 went SPLAT! Drat! thought the cat.
Curious Sue climbed out of a roof window. She’d spied pigeons in the tree! She jumped off the roof onto the end of a branch. She clung on as the branch dropped lower, and lower, and lower until she could see through the kitchen window. Then, Whoosh! The branch flicked up, and Curious Sue went flying through the air into Mrs Worry’s pond. Life 2 went SPLAT!
“Arrgghh!” screeched Full-of-care Claire as a ginger cat dive-bombed into the pond. A huge splash covered her in water weed.
“Who are you and what are you doing in my pond?” she demanded.
Curious Sue clawed out of the pond. “Losing another life I think.”
“Oh! You too? I don’t do anything and I still lose mine.” Full-of-care Claire removed a slimy leaf from her fur.
“How dull! You might as well have a bit of fun at the same time. I’ve got 7 lives left.”
At that moment a bird flew low over the pond, and Curious Sue jumped, catching its wing with her claw. It escaped and SPLASH! The cat fell in the pond and life 4 went SPLAT!
Curious Sue climbed out of the pond. “Make that 6 lives.”
“You really don’t think things through do you? You were never going to the catch that bird.”
“Don’t criticise me! You don’t even fully live!”
The two cats argued for a few more minutes before deciding that being different was ok. They shook paws and chased each other around the garden.
By lunchtime, Full-of-care Claire had shown Curious Sue how to look before leaping, and Curious Sue had shown Full-of-care Claire how to seize the moment. They were having so much fun, neither noticed they each had only two lives left.
“If your lives are full of care, and mine are, well, risky, we could swap a life. Then we’d live balanced lives, right?” Curious Sue.
“I’m not sure…there’s no way of knowing. But let’s try it!”
So the cats swapped a life, and became curious, careful cats who had many more adventures and lived long and happy lives.
That is until Raging Roger the dog moved onto their street.
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