“When the cat’s away the mice will play.”
Wondering and suspecting that there may be exceptions to this axiom, I went straight into deep-source research. I asked online: “Can a cat and mouse ever be friends?” Quora answers:
Rita A. — Absolutely. I’ve had cats who were friends with my pet rats. I even know a snake that made friends with a mouse he’d been given to eat. If you catch a critter at a vulnerable point (like just after giving birth when they’re flooded with maternal instincts) they are just as likely to greet than eat.
Jane L. — A cat and mouse can be friends, but a cat, especially one never trained by its mother to hunt, has no idea how powerful it is. Its instinct is to pounce on anything small and moving rapidly, and its play will kill the mouse even without the cat ever intending any harm.
Nancy M. — Cats and mice can be friends, by starting when both are young [and] living together. There are many examples of hunter/prey relationships. Some occur in the wild, but most occur because humans have the two species living together in the same household.
Key Highlights and Takeaways
- It’s better “to greet than eat.” Leader Lesson: Kindness and consideration help teams. Also, do potlucks!
- “A strong cat can accidentally kill a smaller mouse.” Leader Lesson: Gentle, thoughtful, wise strength helps.
- Historically, “hunter/prey relationships” occur because humans helped them live together. Leader Lesson: True humans (the ones that are truly human) make great leaders—and followers.
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