The cat didn’t really listen. After all, Curiosity tended to go on and on about even the smallest trifles once it had something stuck in its mind, and the cat knew from experience how some of those trifles could lead to serious trouble or, what was worse, loss of dignity. It would be better, thought the cat, if Curiosity would see it fit to shut up now and then. “I may have nine lives,” she mused, “but my dignity must have ninety-nine, at the very least, or I’d have none left by now.”
Curiosity’s grasp on the value of dignity appeared to be marginal at best, yet it had the gift of persuasion, if only by persistence alone. The cat, however, was learning. “You can only get stuck in awkward places so many times,” she thought as she painfully remembered being hauled, helpless, scared and pathetically wet from inside that white bowl the humans used to sit on, “before you begin to see a pattern.”
Losing one’s footing on precarious perches was one of those things Curiosity varyingly referred to as “an occupational hazard,” “a calculated risk,” and “a price worth paying in the name of finding stuff out.” The cat wasn’t quite sure how to argue with this, but she sensed that somewhere there was a fault of sorts in the reasoning behind it. It might have to do with the fact that it was always she, not Curiosity, who tended to wind up on the unpleasant and often sticky end of things.
This time, she had decided, she would to the best of her ability ignore anything and everything that Curiosity might have to suggest, even at the risk of seeming rude. “Instead,” she declared, “I shall sit here and study this little stream of water for a little while.” And she was rather pleased with herself for being so determined about it.
Curiosity didn’t really mind. It knew very well that it would take at most five minutes for the spell to break, and for things to go back to normal.
Photo and words © Bjørnar Andre Haveland