When (or while) the cat’s away, the mice will play is a phrase suggesting that people will naturally take advantage of the absence of someone in authority to do as they like. We know the drill all too well. We grew up with it. Behind our parents’ back; when the teacher left the room; or when our boss is no where around; we have a field day! When no one is watching, it is free time to do as you please.
As I reflect and visually travel back in time, my then young son, Scooter was glued to the tube on Saturday Mornings as he loved the cartoon, “Tom and Jerry.” I watched it too! Their chase was unreal and never ending. It kept excitement in the air or on the tube I should say. Tom, the fast paced cat, and Jerry, the mischievous mouse were always in the chase. Neither ever took a break. That concept will eventually grow old. The required associated energy becomes too much! Don’t you think?
The flip side is being alone. Even the smart mouthed kid in the movie, “Home Alone,” learned survival techniques when he was inadvertently left by his family.
Let’s take a look at other similar proverbs.
The cat is mighty dignified until the dog comes by.
It is easy to be brave from a safe distance.
Opportunity makes a thief.
Make hay while the sun shines.
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.
When fortune smiles, embrace her.
Hares may pull dead lions by the beard.
If the dog is not at home, he barks not.
In summary, make productive use of your time. You can’t get it back. Stop playing solitaire. Get busy. Your time is too valuable. God gave you the same abilities (and time) as everyone else. Don’t waste them. You really don’t have time to play cat or mouse games. Agreed? Though the cartoon characters, Tom and Jerry, mischievously chased each other, you should energetically, chase your dreams! Make them a reality! Stop waiting and depending upon other folks to make it happen for you. Look! Expectantly, they are busy chasing their own (dreams)! The answer my friend is not blowing in the wind. The answer is YOU!
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