Wicked Wednesday – What does having nine lives really mean?

It’s the final Wednesday in May, and we’re wrapping up our nine-lives conversation. A Google search of ‘nine lives’ reveals a plethora of things tied to this phrase: a cat food brand, animal rescue organizations, a wine company, book titles, even a board game.

For me, hearing that someone had nine lives meant not only were they exceptionally world-savvy, but also really lucky – that they had evaded danger or even death, and were almost like superhero in my mind. The scrappy people who keep coming back bigger and better no matter what life throws at them!

So Wickeds, when you hear the phrase nine lives, what do you think of (besides super-smart cats)?

 Julie: When I hear the phrase “nine lives” I think of people who keep coming back from the brink and recreate their lives. Sometimes they are people I admire, sometimes they aren’t. People who live nine lives don’t let things stop them from moving forward. I think of it less as luck, and more as determination meeting opportunity.

Jessie: I love your take on it, Julie! For me, it is in the realm of magical thinking. It seems like being born under a lucky star or in possession of graces gifted at the cradle by the fairies. I love the notion of nine lives, but I find myself subscribing to the belief that each of us has a path and that there are just some bullets one cannot dodge and others that you absolutely can. I am not sure the number is nine!

Barb: To me, “nine lives” means the endless possibility of renewal. I often refer to my writing career as my “second act,” but truly it must be the fifth or the sixth. My life as a grandmother brings me endless pleasure–that I never could have foreseen when my own children were young or before they existed at all. I’m still me, but the lives keep rolling on.

Sherry: Great takes on nine lives! Some people believe there are nine phases of life from infancy to dying. But I like to think of it as our metamorphosis–our ability to change and adapt to new situations that life presents to us. I know I’ve been through many more than nine and I look forward to many more.

Edith/Maddie: I love all these positive takes on the term, ladies. I confess when Julie mentioned that some who seem to have nine lives aren’t people she admires, I thought of a few despicable politicians who deny or ignore their awful deeds and just keep on going. But let’s get back to the positive! Yes to many careers, landing on the fabulous current one, Barb, and to the many phases of being a parent, each rich in its own way. For me, I’d rather not tote up my lives, for fear I’ll find I’m on #9. One day at a time, kids. That’s all we have.

Readers, what does having nine lives mean to you? Leave us a comment below!

9 Thoughts

  1. I’m reading and nodding along on all of your takes on “nine lives.”

    If I really think about it, I’ve always thought of nine lives as one of those moments when you barely escape being clipped by a semi on the interstate. Or you spot the rock slide happening on the road just ahead of you and you think, “Boy, I’m glad I didn’t leave on time because I couldn’t find my keys” because you might have been IN THAT SPOT when the slide happened.

    Yes, both of those things have happened to me and made me wonder how many of my nine lives I’ve now used up.

    But I do like Barb’s interpretation better than mine!

  2. I’m with Maddie, but my mind exchanged politicians for executives. I recalled mid-level and higher-up corporate officers, those Teflon coated scoundrels who did many despicable deeds, never got caught (nine lives), yet snagged bonuses and promotions. Ah, the fodder for more mysteries!

  3. What a great topic! Nine lives to me always means escaping disaster by inches or recreating yourself in a new (and better) life. Yep, I’ve done both, and I’m looking forward to more!

  4. I do admit that I often think of nine lives in the same vein as Annette – you barely avoided disaster or some kind of luck intervention. But I also like the concept of nine lives as getting knocked down and back up to try again.

  5. Guess because I’ve always seemed to be somewhat accident prone, to me it suggests the ability to survive another bad event and not giving up. As a child, I had a medical record showing a sprang this or that, chip here, twisted this, broke hand, pulled ligaments – you name it. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop at adulthood. There’s been falls, spiral fractures of the foot, bruises and the such – some minor and some major. It a matter of not giving up, not being afraid to continue to try. Although I figure part is luck in having many “lives”, I like to think part of it is within my control and not just sheer luck.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  6. Wow. These answers are interesting! I guess I am too practical and always think” I’ll get by.” The answers are certainly provocative. Good question!

  7. I think in terms of phases in my life. Sometimes I look back at things I did and say, “Yeah, that was a couple of lives ago.” And I love it!

  8. I really like these takes on it. I’ve always just associated it with being very lucky in avoiding danger. But I like some of these much more.

Comments are closed.