How many lives has your cat used up?

Cat has nine lives
Cat has nine lives
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Together, my cats have only used up one life. As I have lived with my cats for about 25 years that is not many. I have lived with four cats over that time. I am going to suggest that a cat’s life with respect to the phrase “a cat has nine lives” is an event during which the cat nearly dies but escapes death one way or another. There is no definition for it but a near death experience is what it means.

In fact, on that basis, I could say that my cats have not used up any of their lives. The phrase “a cat has nine lives” is a great exaggeration.

However, on one occasion my very ill Binnie was asleep on a manhole ventilation cover in the middle of the driveway of the block of flats where I live. The manhole was in the middle of the drive at the entrance to the block of flats where I live. It was a very dangerous place because cars and vans come and go at that point all the time. She was asleep. I think she was in pain and wanted the cooling air from the vent to ease the discomfort. That’s my theory. Although it is guesswork.

Theories on why a cat has nine lives

When I saw her, I raced out but walked slowly behind her and quietly approached her. I picked her up and from that time on she was an indoor cat until she was euthanised about 2 weeks later.

OK, I can’t think of any near misses that my cats have been through other than the event I have described, which is not really a near miss. It was just a very dangerous situation.

The nine lives of Fritz the Cat
The nine lives of Fritz the Cat

There are countless stories of cats who have used up one, two, or more of their nine lives. Have any of your cats used up even one of their lives?

I am going to guess and say I would be surprised if there are many examples; if any. Because of their intelligence and athletic ability cats get out of tight spots and avoid them.

To be honest, cats don’t carelessly get into situations where their life is at risk. It is more that human activity makes the life of a cat dangerous. Also, in some countries wildlife makes life dangerous for an outdoor cat.

Cats instinctively take precautions to avoid injury. Some situations are alien to a cat. These are human made environments which the domestic cat is unable to see as dangerous. For example, what about the empty containers at ports? Feral or stray cats can wander into them and become trapped. They are not prepared for the container to be closed. It is not something that they are programmed to be wary of.  Cats are domesticated wildcats and programmed to be wary of the sorts of situations that are dangerous to wildcats. Man made situations still confuse cats and create life threatening situations.

The classic example of man made dangers is road traffic. Cats have never mastered the fast moving car. They just don’t understand the dangers. They don’t understand that the car can kill them.

5 thoughts on “How many lives has your cat used up?”

  1. Monty used up at least one of his lives with the bee sting incident last summer, when he got stung by bumblebee on his tongue. He was a feral cat in his kittenhood, so who knows what all happened to him then. He wasn’t supposed to die yet. He was supposed to be with me. I wonder if Monty has his own guardian angels or if mine just look after him too.

    If husbands have nine lives, mine used up one of his this summer working on a fireworks show. Jeff fell off a ladder that was leaned up but not properly secured to a mooring on the barge. We were setting up on two of the largest barges on the Great Lakes. Had he fallen between the barge and wall into the water he could have been crushed by the barge. It moves– probably what loosened the ladder. Or he could have hit his head, knocked himself out and fell into the water and drowned. I think we’re supposed to wear life vests every time we get on or off the barge, but it’s hot so no one ever does and once on the barge there is a railing. It was a close call, but at least he kind of rolled down the ladder and ended up landing on some pallets onshore.

    I said his guardian angel saved him. Jeff said that if his angel were any good he would have held the ladder steady so he wouldn’t have fallen at all. Maybe Monty gave Jeff one of his lives. He does really, really like the way Jeff pets him.

    Monty would be sad if Jeff weren’t here. When Jeff works a fireworks show that I don’t work Monty gets very nervous. He sits at attention, waiting. He can’t relax until Jeff finally walks in the door at like 2 a.m. It’s as if until Jeff gets home Monty has to be in charge. He doesn’t mind being in charge once in awhile, but when it seems that maybe Jeff has been eaten by a predator and might not be coming back, the burden of becoming the alpha cat full time really seems to weigh on Monty.

    Also, I just can’t foot pet him as well as my husband, who can pick up a dime with his toes. He has talented feet. Monty probably would never have ended up with a thing for feet were it not for my husband being able to so expertly stroke him with his feet.

  2. Mr. Furtado, thank you so much for that link on your albino-siamese kitten. She is adorable! I read every word as though she was my own. May she have catwings… and look after you from her perch, forever!

  3. Michael, honestly, more than my cats i have used their “Nine Lives” for surviving to this date ! As for my cats, whenever every time they jumped onto my narrow kitchen ledge and back to the kitchen could be counted as a “Cat Life” utilized. A slight slip means a fall 5 floors below.My first adopted cat “Trixie(1995-2007” definitely defined the term a cat has 9 lives.The very fact that in 1995 i adopted her as a dying kitten from a pet shop in Mumbai’s Crawford market indicates the beginning of her “9 Cat lives”. Here is the link to the blog on her brief life :-

  4. So how many times do I have to land on my head for it to count? Let’s see. Walking in front of mama’s car on a busy road and her coming back to rescue me was one. Then the fly larvae in my neck makes 2. Then getting my head stuck in the hole of a banana box makes 3. Then the very bad URI I had makes 4. Then when my claw got hung on the cable box makes 5. Then when Dreyfuss scared me so bad I peed my paws and jumped behind the washer makes 6. Then when the house caught on fire and I hid in Lauras room makes 7. Should I take any of these off the list? Maybe I should take long naps because I’m gonna have to buy up some lives if I get into much more trouble. Giggles…


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