THE CAT’S MEOW
What’s so funny about this? As I did the preparation to explain this joke, I ran across a fact I was unaware of. I didn’t know that cats ate frogs. I shouldn’t be surprised. Cats are meat-eating predators who also play with their food, especially little things that they capture alive, such as mice. One of the first images I saw was a cat eating a frog it had just killed. My cute images of a kitty and a frog leisurely hanging out together quickly vanished. That’s why you see a statue of a cat and frog in the photo accompanying this joke. OK, let’s get to the actual joke. Cats and mice couldn’t be more different. These differences far outweigh similarities. It would be correct to say that cats have fur while frogs have a slimy skin, but that wouldn’t be funny. The trick is to find something similar or almost similar yet still different enough. The solution is in the word “croak”, which, not surprisingly, has at least two meanings. The first one is a noun or a verb referring to the sound that frogs make. Sometimes this sound is jokingly written as ribit!. The other meaning of “croak” is the slang verb meaning “to die”. It’s a kind of callous and not very nice term. You wouldn’t say it to a friend or a relative in mourning over a dead friend. When you hear that someone has croaked it tells you not only that the person is dead, but that the person telling you this doesn’t have a close connection to the deceased. There is a superstition and an expression that a cat has nine lives. This is probably because cats are always getting into trouble yet seem to be able to escape injuries and death. BTW, in Arabic and Russian cats only get to have seven lives. Both nine and seven are considered “lucky” numbers in many cultures. So frogs croak all day and all night long - not that they die, they just make their croaking noise; but cats can only croak nine times. That’s the difference and THAT’s what’s so funny!
Listen to my audioboo: https://audioboo.fm/boos/2070822-the-cat-s-meow