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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Curiosity killed the cat?

Obviously not enough of them. Which is a good thing, in my opinion. I'm happy to have cats around! But I'm curious as to how they, as a species, have managed to avoid any serious repercussions of their most famous (infamous?) quality.

Every time I open a cabinet, drawer or door, they are right there eager to know what feline treasures might lay therein. I somehow have them convinced that I'm stashing dozens of species of small rodents and yards upon yards of string within every nook and cranny to which I have denied them access.

It seems logical that the propensity to rush blindly through every new door that opens might lead to some untoward consequences. Like, getting hit by a car, having a rigged grand piano crash down upon you. Or something more prosaic like being thrown out by your owner who is sick and tired of trying to keep you out of the neighbor's apartment. (These are all hypothetical, of course.)

Wouldn't the laws of natural selection come into play and cause the most curious kitten to also be the deadest? These days there is much human intervention that allows cats to survive despite their occasional foolhardiness. But centuries ago domestic cats were not nearly as spoiled rotten as they are now.

But somehow this curiosity gene has survived and thrived. (Maybe it's the nine lives?) Our cats are always eager to get any place they have not been. Which I suppose isn't so terribly different from us. But I like to think we show a little more decorum and planning before we go rushing out the door into the unknown. Or into the neighbor's apartment. Which Theodore has done on at least one occasion. And do you know what he decided to do in there, that brand new place full of untapped possibilities? He sat on their window sill. Looking at the very same view that he has from our duplex. Go figure.

And that's what is kind of funny. They're curious and yet they're so predictable. If they could get to the most exotic places in the world they they would be sorely disappointed there unless they found a soft place to sleep and a person willing to scratch them behind their ears.

3 comments:

Vanessa Rogers said...

I am not sure you showed much more decorum as a child- I am sure your mom had to chase you more than once from running under a "rigged" grand piano :)
p.s. I can't figure out the meaning of "rigged" I am trying to increase my vocabulary so I am picking up words that you use that I like, such as prosaic, but I can't figure out your usage of rigged.
p.s.s. Fun post!

Anonymous said...

Leslie, did you know that cats generally go only through openings that are wide enough to accomodate the span of their wiskers. That is the only feedback they get, if their wiskers can get through then it is open range and they are meant to be there (according to cat logic)

Vanessa Rogers said...

Hey, nevermind about my vocab question- I was just pronouncing the word wrong- I got it now :)