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Short Cat Tales with Morals

I love my little kitty
Her coat is so warm.
And if I don't hurt her
She'll do me no harm.
I won't pull her tail,
Or drive her away.
And kitty and I
Very gently will play.
Mother Goose

The Cat and the Rooster

A Cat pounced on a Rooster, and looked for some good excuse for making a meal of him, for cats normally don't eat roosters, and she knew she shouldn't. At last she said, "You make a great nuisance of yourself at night by crowing and keeping people awake; so I am going to make an end of you." But the Rooster defended himself by saying that he crowed in order that men might wake up and set about the day's work in good time, and that they couldn't do without him. The Cat replies "That may be, but I'm not going without my dinner". She killed and ate him.

The want of a good excuse never kept a villain from his crime.

 Belling the Cat

The mice held a meeting to decide how to sound a warning of the approach of their great enemy, the Cat. Among many plans proposed, the favourite one was the suggestion that a bell be tied to the neck of the Cat. Whenever the Cat approached, the mice would be warned by the sound of the tinkling and run away and hide themselves in their holes. But when the mice tried to decide who would be the one to 'bell the Cat', there was noone willing to do it.

It is easy to propose impossible remedies.

 The Parrot and the Cat

A man once bought a Parrot and gave it the run of his house. It revelled in its liberty, and presently flew up on to the mantlepiece and screamed away to its heart's content. The noise disturbed the Cat, who was asleep. "Looking up at the intruder, she said, Who may you be and where have you come from?" The Parrot replied, "Your master has just brought me home with him." "You impudent bird, how dare you, a new comer make a noise like that? Why I was born here and have lived here all my life, and yet, if I venture to mew, they throw things at me and chase me all over the place." said the Cat. The Parrot replied, "Hold your tongue. My voice they delight in. Yours is a perfect nuisance."

 The Fox and the Cat

A Fox was boasting to a Cat of its clever devices for escaping its enemies. "I have a whole bag of tricks," he said, "which contains a hundred ways of escaping my enemies."
"I have only one " said the Cat, "but I can generally manage with that." Just at that moment they heard a pack of hounds coming towards them, and the Cat immediately scampered up a tree and hid herself in the boughs. "This is my plan," said the Cat. "What are you going to do?" The Fox thought first of one way, then of another, and while he was debating the hounds came nearer and nearer, and at last the Fox in his confusion was caught up by the hounds and soon killed by the huntsmen.
The Cat, who had been looking on, said,
Better one safe way than a hundred on which you cannot reckon.

 The Cat and the Birds

A Cat heard that the birds in an aviary were ailing. So he got himself up as a doctor, and taking with him a set of instruments proper to his profession, presented himself at the door, and inquired after the health of the birds. "We shall do very well," they replied, without letting him in, "when we've seen the last of you.".

A villain may disguise himself, but he will not deceive the wise.

 The Eagle, the Cat and the Wild Sow

An Eagle built her nest at the top of a high tree. A Cat and her family occupied a hollow in the trunk half-way down. A Wild Sow and her young lived at the foot of the tree. They might have got on very well as neighbours had it not been for the evil cunning of the Cat. Climbing up to the Eagle's nest she said to the Eagle, "You and I are in the greatest possible danger. That dreadful creature, the Sow, who is always to be seen grubbing away at the foot of the tree, means to uproot it, that she may devour your family and mine at her ease." Having thus driven the Eagle nearly out of her senses in terror, the Cat climbed down the tree and said to the Sow, "I must warn you against that dreadful bird the Eagle. She is only waiting her chance to fly down and carry off one of your little pigs when you take them out, to feed her brood with." She succeeded in frightening the Sow as much as the Eagle. Then she returned to her hole in the trunk. She pretended to be afraid and never came out by day. Only at night did she creep out unseen to procure food for her kittens. The Eagle meanwhile was afraid to stir from her nest. The Sow dared not leave her home among the roots. In time both they and their families perished with hunger and their dead bodies supplied the Cat with ample food for her frowing family.

 Venus and the Cat

A Cat fell in love with a handsome young man, and begged the goddess Venus to change her into a woman. Venus was very gracious about it, and changed her at once into a beautiful maiden. The young man fell in love with her at first sight and shortly afterwars they were married.
One day Venus thought she would like to see whether the Cat had changed her habits as well as her form, so she let a mouse run loose in their house. The young woman no sooner saw the mouse than up she jumped and was after it like a shot. The goddess was so disgusted that she changed her back into a Cat.

 The Cock, the Cat and the Mouse

Once upon a time . . . a little mouse decided to go and see the world. Packing some food for the journey, he carefully locked his door and set off for the unknown. And what a wonderful world he saw! Tall trees, rolling countryside, flowers and butterflies he had never set eyes on before. On he hiked till, tired out, he came to a peasant's cottage. After eating some of his packed lunch, he thought he would inspect what, to him, was a peculiar sort of building. He entered the farmyard and his eyes grew round as saucers: there in front of him were two strange animals he had never seen before. One was large and handsome, with four legs, covered all over with soft fur, and sporting splendid white whiskers that gave it a solemn respectable air. It was dozing against the wall. The other, a two-legged creature, had red, yellow and green feathers and a fierce, bad-tempered look. A pair of cruel eyes in a red-crested head glared at the little mouse. "How do you do, sir! How do you do..." began the mouse's greeting, as he felt foollsh at not knowing the stranger's name. But the feathered creature simply puffed out its chest, screeched a loud "Cocka-doodle-doo!" and strutted towards the mouse, now paralyzed with fear. The little mouse saw the big yellow beak hovering over him. "I must run!" he squeaked, turning tail and fleeing as fast as his legs would carry him. He spied a hole in the wall and dived into it. Inside, three faces stared at him in amazement.
"Where did you appear from?" they asked.
"I've come . . ." gasped the little mouse breathlessly, ". . . from far
away! Where am I now?"
"This is our home. We're field mice. What happened?" And the little mouse told them about the animals he had met in the farmyard: one handsome and harmless, the other brightly coloured and ferocious. The three field mice laughed. "Calm down," they said. "Have a cup of coffee. Don't you realize the danger you were in? The creature that frightened you is only a cock, but the nice harmless one is our deadliest enemy, the cat! If he'd seen you, you wouldn't be here to tell the tale. As you see, you can't always judge by appearances!"

 The Mice in Council

The mice summoned a council to decide how they might best devise means of warning themselves of the approach of their great enemy the Cat. Among the many plans suggested, the one that found most favor was the proposal to tie a bell to the neck of the Cat, so that the Mice, being warned by the sound of the tinkling, might run away and hide themselves in their holes at his approach. But when the Mice further debated who among them should thus "bell the Cat," there was no one found to do it.

 The Cat and the Mice

A certain house was overrun with Mice. A Cat, discovering this, made her way into it and began to catch and eat them one by one. Fearing for their lives, the Mice kept themselves close in their holes. The Cat was no longer able to get at them and perceived that she must tempt them forth by some device. For this purpose she jumped upon a peg, and suspending herself from it, pretended to be dead. One of the Mice, peeping stealthily out, saw her and said, "Ah, my good madam, even though you should turn into a meal-bag, we will not come near you."


An old tom cat dies and goes to Heaven. He meets St. Peter who says, "You get one wish while in Heaven. What will it be?" The cat replies, "I want a couch to lounge on and I can scratch it all I want with nobody bothering me." St. Peter says, "That is easy enough to do. Your wish is granted."

A few days later some mice die, go to Heaven and meet St. Peter. St. Peter says, "You get one wish while in heaven. What will it be?" The mice think about it and decide on roller blades so they can get around Heaven faster. St. Peter says, "That's not too much to ask. Your wish is granted!"

A few days later St. Peter decides to check up on the new arrivals. He goes and finds the cat lounging on his couch. St. Peter asks, "How is your stay in Heaven so far?"

The cat declares, "The couch is great, but the greatest thing of all is your 'meals-on-wheels' program!"

An African Fable of the Cat
resource: Rhodesian Native Affairs Department

Once upon a time the cat did not live in the houses of men. He lived only in the bush or in the jungle.

One cat became friendly with a rabbit. He went everywhere with the rabbit and was astonished at the craftiness of his friend. One day a duiker fought with the rabbit and killed it with its horns. As his friend was dead the cat lived with the duiker. Then the duiker was killed by a leopard, so the cat decided to live with the leopard. A few days later they met with a lion. The lion fought the leopard and killed it. The poor cat then made friends with the lion and lived with him until one day they met a herd of elephant. A huge bull fought with the lion and killed it.

The cat thought to herself, "I must make friends with an animal as large and strong as this elephant - surely nothing can defeat it!."

But his troubles were not yet over, for one day a hunter shot the elephant with a poisoned arrow and the elephant died.

Now the cat did not know what to do, for he had never seen a two - legged animal such as this. He thought hard and said to himself, "if this man can kill a huge animal like an elephant, I had better make friends with him so that I can live in safety."

He followed the hunter back to his home, and when the hunter entered his hut the cat crept up on to the verandah. He heard sounds of quarrelling in the hut and saw the man in flight from a woman who was beating him with a stick for stirring porridge.

The cat said to herself, "Now I have seen the strongest of all creatures - a woman!".

Ever after this the cat has lived in the huts with the woman, because it is they who are all-powerful.

by Lala, 1948


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