Proverbs for Cats

So remember I said I was going to get on with the Christmas decorations in my last post? Well, I dug out the boxes of decorations I had carefully wrapped and stored away last year. Carried each box (three HUGE ones) over to the areas I needed them (one in the living-room, one for the front door/hallway and the last for an upper landing area.

Then I remembered that last year I had said to myself “now don’t forget to buy a new multi-plug extension lead because the one I had last year just stopped working. I think two days after Christmas all the tree lights stopped working. But guess what? Of course I did forget and so when I was going through the electrical box labelled “Christmas plugs, extension leads, etc” I saw the post-it note I had written for myself last December… 🙂

So that meant I had to go out and buy one if I wanted to get the tree lit up for today. So off I went to the shops and when I got back…


There were some guilty looking faces peering at me from behind a pillar at the top of the stairs and from underneath the table and from behind a sofa… and I thought, “hmmm what’s been going on here then?”

Well, when I got to the top of the landing it all became crystal clear what happened. The box of upper landing decorations had ‘mysteriously’ tipped over and there was glitter, tinsel, bits of smashed bauble, beads, and lights littering the top of the landing and some had also tumbled half-way down the stairs! To add to the horror the cardboard box the decorations had lived in all year had been clawed to bits all down one side and was now unusable!

The crazy, chaotic, car-crash situation I arrived home to reminded me of an old proverb that is commonly used in the UK where I am from. When I say old, it is from around the 1600s, so pretty old!

It wasn’t us, honest it wasn’t!

When the cat’s away, the mice will play

Read carefully the two interpretations for the proverb above and choose the one you think is the correct one. Proverbs generally tell us about something that is kind of true but which might be written or said using language which is less direct and more colourful. Sometimes proverbs are fairly easy to interpret and sometimes they are not.

  1. Mice are clever creatures and they wait until they know any cats are out of the room and then they run around wildly chasing one another
  2. When someone in authority is not around, those who are might take advantage of their “freedom” to do as they please

Now which of those definitions do you think is the best one for describing my cats’ behaviour today? Number 1 or number 2? 🙂 Can you think of a situation where you could use this proverb in conversation? Who else might be involved in the situation?

Guess what? I didn’t have time to decorate the Christmas tree because I had to clean the landing area of all the glitter, beads and broken baubles the cats left me as a ‘gift’. 🙂


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