Special Sub-Topic: That Proverbial Cat!
|On Day 1, Kitty Kyle flies down to Mexico. Being a cat of tender years, he is not yet versed in the ways of the world, so he misses the point of a saying about a young woman and her more mature partner. Which proverb was this?|
Old cats like young mice.. Kitty Kyle may have missed out on that one, but he did come across some more Mexican proverbs that made him smile and would like to share them with you:
"Corpses and annoying guests stink by the third day."
"The devil knows more for being old than for being the devil."
"Tell me who you are with and I will tell you who you are."
"Breed crows and they will take out your eyes."
|On Day 2, Kitty Kyle arrives in Great Britain. He goes up to London to visit the Queen, where he behaves perfectly but comes across which proverb suggesting that a misspent youth may not be altogether bad?|
Wanton kittens make sober cats.. Like many nations, the British love their pet cats and it is believed these were introduced into the country by the Romans. One of those cats was the subject of a 2007 news story. Sgt. Podge, it was reported, left his home each night and, the following morning, would wait at a roadside point, 1.5 miles away, to be picked up by car. Back then, Sgt. Podge was 12 years old, but it's not recorded whether his night-time activities were wanton or sober. (Source : UK "Daily Telegraph" 14th November 2007)
|On Day 3, Kitty Kyle takes a catamaran across the English channel to France. There he realises he's in a country that truly appreciates his aesthetic virtues. Which of these proverbs might he have overheard?|
Books, cats and fair-haired little girls make the best furnishing for a room.. One of the finest French breeds of cat is the Chartreux. These have a blue-grey colouring and are noted for their hunting abilities.
The French do, though, have a rather less flattering proverb linking felines and females: "Cats, flies and women are ever at their toilets." Kitty Kyle has no comment to make!
|On Day 4, Kitty Kyle continues into the Netherlands. There is plenty of milk in this land of cheeses so he is amply rewarded for some mousing duties. Which of these is a Dutch phrase that speaks of proper application in carrying out a task? |
A cat that mews much catches but few mice.. This is a common proverb found in different forms around the world. These include: "A puss in boots catches no mice." (France); "A silent cat catches mice." (Japan); and "Never was a mewing cat a good mouser." (Italy)
|Day 5 finds Kitty Kyle in Germany. He encounters which proverb that is a commentary on facing up to the lesser of two evils?|
Who will not feed the cats, must feed the mice and rats.. Kitty Kyle didn't make it to Norway but, if he had, he would have found a similar proverb: "It is better to feed one cat than many mice."
The Germans have a large number of proverbs about cats, which include:
"A cat has nine lives, as the onion seven skins."
"A cat is a lion to a mouse.
"A gloved cat catches no mice."
"Care killed the cat."
"Cats and kings always land on their feet."
"If the cat were a hen, it too would lay eggs."
|On Day 6, Kitty Kyle travels on to Afghanistan. The Afghans give him their take on something that Kyle, along with all cats, knows perfectly well. No cat exists for anyone's pleasure but its own. Dogs have masters and cats have staff. How do they phrase it here?|
Cats don't catch mice to please God.. Kitty Kyle's favourite commentary on cats' self-belief is the observation that, if you lavish care and attention on a dog, it assumes that you are a god. Do the same to a cat and it assumes IT is a god. You will probably also empathise with the thought that, "there are many intelligent species in the universe and these are all owned by cats."
The Afghans have some particularly good proverbs on religion:
"Man sins... then blames it on the devil."
"Allah has said, 'Start moving so that I may start blessing.'"
"First food, then religion."
Other Afghan proverbs include:
"If you want to keep camels, have a big enough door."
"It is easier to wage war with wise enemies than be at peace with foolish friends."
"It's the same donkey, but with a new saddle."
|By Day 7, Kitty Kyle has reached China. He decides to pass through quickly because he's heard rumours about cat forming part of the local cuisine. He does, however, learn which phrase that puts a feline spin into "horses for courses"?|
When rats infest the Palace, a lame cat is better than the swiftest horse.. A similar Chinese proverb about appropriateness for the job in hand is, "A mouse-catching dog steps on the cats' paws".
Other cat related proverbs that Kitty Kyle nosed out here include:
"I gave an order to a cat, and the cat gave it to its tail"
"Happy owner, happy cat. Indifferent owner, reclusive cat."
"All cats love fish but fear to wet their paws."
|On Day 8, Kyle crosses over to Japan. He's happy here as the Japanese hold the cat in much higher esteem. They also have which phrase that speaks about virtue and temptation?|
The cat's a saint when there are no mice about.. The cat holds a significant place in Japanese folklore with both good and bad elements. Kitty Kyle couldn't help but notice the Maneki Neko (neko is the Japanese for cat), a ceramic figure found in many homes and believed to bring good luck. Fortunately, he didn't meet a bakeneko which, on the other hand, is a supernatural cat capable of shape-shifting and creating mayhem in a host household. Tradition holds that it can develop from large cats over 13 years of age.
|On Day 9, Kitty Kyle heads back West and arrives in Morocco. Which phrase does he encounter that has the same meaning as a well-known proverb about dogs and ingrained habits? |
An old cat will not learn how to dance.. The canine equivalent speaks of the impossibility in teaching an old dog new tricks.
Cats are everywhere to be seen in Morocco. Their big brother, the North African Barbary Lion, is now extinct but examples of the species were kept at the English Tower of London as far back as the thirteenth century.
|It's Day 10 and Kitty Kyle's trip is at an end. He's still in West Africa preparing for the journey home. A local gives him which parting advice about minimising unnecessary danger? |
Rats don't dance in the cat's doorway.. There are many proverbs that run along similar lines. From Nigeria comes, "When the mouse laughs at the cat, there is a hole nearby." We also have, from the United Kingdom, "When the cat's away, the mice will play."; from China, "When the cat is gone, the mice come out to stretch."; and from Italy, "When the cat's away, the rats dance."
Kitty Kyle's favourite Italian feline proverb, though begrudgingly, is, "A cat that licks the spit is not to be trusted with roast meat."
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