THE CAT you will die

Placement: The Obscure Arcana


There are many iterations of this Obscure Arcana card. In versions from decks in which The Fool is attacked by a cat, that same cat reappears in The Cat card. At other times, it is the return of the black cat from the Queen of Wands. In Egyptian inspired tarot decks, The Cat is the goddess Bastet. In eighteenth century French decks it is Puss In Boots. In the Rider Waite Smith deck, it is the Cat and the Fiddle, surrounded by the Tetramorph, a circle of alchemical symbols and a tap-dancing scorpion. In the most popular depiction, however, we find the image of a distinguished looking feline holding a hand-rolled catnip cigar. In some modern decks, this cat also pens a poorly-spelled request for cheeseburgers.


Right side up:

Cats have often been believed to have supernatural powers. If a black cat crosses your path in Great Britain, it will bring prosperity. If the same thing happens to you in other parts of Europe, disaster will befall you. In the 16th century, many homeowners buried cats in their walls to protect themselves from witches. If you are in Hollywood, saving the cat makes an audience care. If on Broadway, expect eighteen years of dancing furries.

Beware of naps, pajamas, buttered toast, burglars, violence between women, anarchist syndicates, hot tin roofs and water.

Beware your own curiosity. Learn nothing more about cats.


Upside down:

Though cats may be charming and cuddlesome, they are also cruel bastards who want nothing more than to eat your face. Beware the subtle hypnosis of purring. Ignore their vocal impressions of human babies. In fact, avoid human babies, for they may be cats wearing human baby faces.


Classic The Cat deaths:

  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Rabies
  • Tripping on the stairs
  • Smothered by snuggles
  • Skinned in more than one way
  • Landing on no fours
  • Being a songbird
  • Caught in the crossfire between competing underground nip dealers
  • Having the nerve to use a can opener for anything other than soft meat byproducts