Care killed the cat

Definitions

  • Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Care killed the cat even with his proverbial nine lives
    • ***

Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. cat; found also in Celt., Slav., Ar., Finn, &c.

Usage

In literature:

Helterskelter, hang sorrow, care'll kill a cat, up-tails all, and a louse for the hangman.
"Every Man In His Humor" by Ben Jonson
***

In poetry:

The man of moods might merely say
As by the fire he sat,
"I am low spirited to-day;
I must do something, work or play,
Lest care should kill the cat!"
"Sunday" by George MacDonald