So does curiosity kill cats?  You’ve no doubt heard and maybe even used this idiom.  It’s from a proverb first used by British playwright Ben Jonson in his 1598 play called Every Man In His Humor which was performed by Shakespeare.  Originally it wasn’t curiosity but care that will kill the cat.  It’s not know why exactly care was dropped and curiosity added but the first printed reference shows up in an Irish newspaper from 1868 that stated “curiosity killed a cat once.”   An early printed reference to the actual phrase “Curiosity killed the cat” is in James Allan Mair’s 1873 compendium A handbook of proverbs: English, Scottish, Irish, American, Shakespearean, and scriptural; and family mottoes, where it is listed as an Irish proverb.  If, in fact, curiosity does indeed kill felines, it’s probably a good thing they have nine lives.