Who REALLY Killed the Cat?


Who REALLY killed the cat?

Did curiosity REALLY kill the cat?  Was it colonel Mustard in Library with the dreaded wrench or Ms. Scarlet in the parlor with a rope?  And so the murder mystery begins!   Remember the old Parker Brothers game, CLUE?   Next to Monopoly, it was one of my favorite games.  I could spend hours with either one when the weather smacked of rain and held me prisoner within the walls of our small house.   Clue became one of my favorite “get-out-of-jail” passes!  However, when the weather was nice these pigtails were outside wearing a cowboy hat and a pair of pistols on each hip.   The cotton  fields of NC were magically transformed into a landscape of swinging saloon doors, dusty ghost towns with an abundance of wafting tumble weeds.   Needless to say I, like my feline friends, became a vessel of imagination and curiosity personified.  These memories make me happy and make me fall in love with that little child still inside me.  It has taken almost fifty years to come to this revelation but I can honestly say I am finally comfortable and at peace with my identity.   You know what they say, better late than never, and I concur.  It feels damn good and so it is from the bottom of my toes to the top of my head that I offer a hardy “thank you” to my childhood companion, Curiosity.

How did Curiosity become a cold blooded cat killer?  I didn’t know so once again I let my fingers do the walking and Google do the talking.   The saying originated in 1598 from British writer, Ben Johnson, who wrote plays for a young actor named William Shakespeare.  Mr. Johnson chose the word care instead of curiosity when he wrote, “Helter Skelter, hang sorrow, care’ll kill a Cat…”   His intent was to infer that too much worry was unhealthy and could eventually wear out the nine lives of a cat.  Through the years the writings of many authors tarnished the idea of being too curious.   St. Augustine claimed Hell was fashioned for the inquisitive and Lord Byron called it “that low vice,” and John Clarke wrote, “He that pryeth into every cloud may be struck with a thunderbolt.”  As time passed the word curiosity became substitute for care and as result the proverb “curiosity killed the cat” was coined.

Like my beloved cat, I am curious by nature and perhaps that is why the old saying, has never sat well within my craw.  I agree that too much curiosity and nosiness can breed all kinds of trouble.  God knew this so He graciously provided something called common sense.  Sad to say, it is a commodity that idiots rarely employ.  Come on people, let’s get a CLUE!  Stop blaming curiosity and place the blame where the blame belongs:   Stupidity is the one that killed the cat; Curiosity was framed!

I am convinced that it is “Curiosity” that takes us by the hand and leads us into a treasure trove of knowledge.   So,  go ahead, ask a question…ask a lot of questions!    “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Matthew 7:7)

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