Curiosity

January 29, 2022

Our friends got tickets for an out-of-town concert and asked Melissa if she would be willing to puppy-sit this weekend.  When they arrived, Eddie immediately began to sniff around the yard.  He already knew Melissa, so he ran to her for some love.  I had met him several times, so after he finally came to me after a few tentative approaches.  Melissa knew Eddie would have curiosity for the new house, so she blocked off most of the areas prior to his arrival.  She put boxes across the formal dining room and closed the doors to the bedrooms and the greenhouse porch.  When we went inside, he immediately began to search, but stayed close while our friends were here, only sniffing around the kitchen and the breakfast nook.   He became more comfortable after our friends left, his curiosity increased, and he ranged down the hall.

Eddie was not the only animal with curiosity today.  The white cat who lives across the street has become a daily visitor since I installed the bird feeders in the back but has never approached the house.  When Eddie arrived, I noticed her watching.  She must have been wondering about this new dog running around in our yard.  Not long after arrival, we looked up to see the cat peering through the screen door into our house.  When Eddie saw the cat, he took a few steps toward her and then the two had a stare off in the hall.  After staring at each other for a minute Eddie gave one bark and the cat took off. 

I have mentioned how the two dogs who live in the yard behind our house are always curious about Melissa sitting in the bay window while she works.  They bark at her when they see her move through the window driving her crazy.  If she goes out on the porch or back yard, they both bark incessantly until she comes inside.  The dogs had seen Eddie come in the house and were full of curiosity, patrolling the back fence to get another look.  I needed to fill the feeders and brought Eddie with me.  When he came outside the two dogs began to bark.  Eddie ran over to the fence and the larger dog ran off.  The smaller dog has always been more aggressive and continued to bark.  Eddie decided to bark back, apparently telling him this was his yard, and the other dog ran off.  Having fulfilled his curiosity and established his dominance in the cul-de-sac, Eddie spent the rest of the afternoon sleeping in the sun.

Thoughts:  Anyone who has ever watched a cat can attest to their curiosity.  “Curiosity killed the cat” is a proverb used to warn of the danger of unnecessary investigation or risk.  The original form of the proverb was “Care killed the cat”, where “care” meant “worry” or “sorrow for others.”  The earliest printed reference to the original proverb appears in a 1598 play while the later version is first found in an Irish newspaper in 1868.  The phrase continued to morph in the early 20th century with, “Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back”.  The added rejoinder indicates the risk could lead to resurrection because of the satisfaction felt after finding the answer.  During the late 1970’s the line appeared in the Iggy Pop song “Curiosity” and Stephen King’s novel, The Shining.  Human curiosity drives most technological advancement, but it needs to be tempered against unnecessary risks.  You do not want to kill the “cat”.  Do the work.  Follow the science.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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