Pay the Cat Price

Curiosity may have killed the cat; more likely the cat was just unlucky,
or else curious to see what death was like, having no cause to go on licking paws, or fathering litter on litter of kittens, predictably.

Nevertheless, to be curious is dangerous enough. To distrust what is always said,
what seems, to ask questions, interfere in dreams, leave home, smell rats, have hunches do not endear cats to those doggy circles where well-smelt baskets, suitable wives, good lunches are the order of things, and where prevails much wagging of incurious heads and tails.

Face it. Curiosity will not cause us to die- only lack of it will. Never to want to see the other side of the hill or that improbable country where living is an idyll (although a probable hell) would kill us all.
Only the curious have, if they live, a tale worth telling at all.

Dogs say cats love too much, are irresponsible, are changeable, marry too many wives,
desert their children, chill all dinner tables with tales of their nine lives.
Well they are lucky. Let them be nine-lived and contradictory,
curious enough to change, prepared to pay the cat price, which is to die
and die again and again, each time with no less pain.
A cat minority of one is all that can be counted on to tell the truth.
And what cats have to tell on each return from hell is this: that dying is what the living do, that dying is what the loving do and that dead dogs are those who do not know
that dying is what, to live, each has to do.

-Alastair Reed


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