If Curiosity Killed The Cat, Why Are There So Many Cats?

Did you click the title of this post because you were curious? If so, please check your pulse. Are you still living and breathing? “Curiosity killed the cat” is an idiom I’ve always hated. It is encouragement to blindly follow, and fear asking questions. That sounds terrible, and is certainly not how I’d want to ask anyone to live their life.

It’s Wrong!

Straight up: All the great stuff you can’t live without today probably appeared as a result of curiosity. Do you own a car? Someone looked at a steam boat and said, “Hmm, wonder if I can make that work on land?” They tried it out, and now you can buy a Tesla. Take a look at your computer, or the phone in your pocket. Or beer. Beer! Everything around us was created by either necessity or curiosity–arguably both.

No Really, The Phrase is Even Wrong!

And not to get all historical on you, but the phrase as we know it now is not even correct. Originally, when it was coined in the 16th century, it was “Care” not “Curiosity” that killed the cat. In context, it specifically meant excessive sorrowful worry is something to be avoided, as it’s no good for your health. That doesn’t even have anything to do with being curious and asking questions about what’s in front of you!

Curiosity explores new horizons. Curiosity unearths amazing discoveries. I’m pretty sure we’re all alive right now because of human curiosity… And I’m pretty sure curiosity is exactly what will keep future generations alive and well. Humans are innately curious, and I’d give it up no more readily than my own humanity.
What about you?

2 thoughts on “If Curiosity Killed The Cat, Why Are There So Many Cats?

  1. There are an assortment of “wrong” sayings in the world … e.g., I found your blog via a post you wrote about Excel. You’re in Indiana, I’m in New York. And the song goes “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere” … but exactly the opposite is more true: NY has _so_many_ niche markets to fill … what succeeds here may have few takers in small markets (I went to school in DE, so I know small). Conversely, what succeeds in Peoria may be too small, too ordinary, or too hard-to-scale-up for NYC (even tho’ Peoria is nice all on its own).

    But I digress. Thanks for your Excel article about Index, Match, and vLookup limitations. Congrats on your MS award and being named to local lists.

    Kind regards,


    1. Thanks for the comment, Susan! Appreciate you engaging with us, and your kind words. “If You Can Make It Here, You Can Make It Anywhere — NOT!” sounds like a great topic for a blog post… If you write it, I promise to come comment on it ☺

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