The most valuable thing in the world

I have a desk calendar that gives a quote per day. [Note to self: This year, don’t be such a tightwad. Buy yourself a calendar before the January sales so you have a decent selection to choose from.] Are they inspirational sayings? inscrutableness? philosophical platitudes? Not sure what you’d call them. Some of them state the obvious, while others make meaningful comments on the human condition. Today’s Zen saying was not one of the latter.

It asked the question, “what is the most valuable thing in the world?” Time, you might think? Good health? Love? Family?

Ah, no, grasshopper. You are too predictable.

“A student asked his teacher, ‘What is the most valuable thing in the world?’ ‘The head of a dead cat,’ the teacher replied. ‘Why?’ the student asked. ‘Because no one can name its price,’ was the teacher’s reply.”

Isn’t that awesome?? Once I stopped laughing I spent a happy five minutes dreaming up all sorts of other gross and gruesome things whose price could not be named.

It also brought to mind the book 101 Uses for a Dead Cat by Simon Bond.

Remember that? It was all the rage 20 or 30 years ago (ooh, now I’m showing my age). Cartoons of cats being used as toilet brushes, footstools, so many silly things. Can’t remember them now but I was highly amused at the time. I know I bought a few copies for my cat-loving friends.

I’m sure the Carnivore had a copy. Despite not having a vicious bone in his body, he likes to cultivate a reputation as a cat-hater. For many years he had a bumper sticker on his car that read: “Missing your cat? Check under my tyres”.

Come to think of it, a sense of humour – while not the most valuable thing in the world – is a pretty handy thing to have. Especially if you live in this house!

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