A rat cannot call a cat to account for what the cat has done.

Nigerian Proverb


According to Okechukwu, one of our facebook users, this saying is about fear. The proverb exposes the fear that exists within subordinates towards some people in power. A dictator, for example, might embezzle from people and commit other atrocities. The people might see these wrong doings but feel too afraid to call the dictator to justice.

In another interpretation, this proverb refers to things in our lives over which we have no control. Just as it is a waste of time for the rat to blame the cat for anything, we will not gain anything, for example, if we focus our energy blaming the weather for a storm that blows a tree down onto our rooftops. Instead, we should focus that energy on fixing the damage caused and on measures to prevent any future damage by the storm. For the rat, there are always going to be cats to deal with. Similarly, there are always going to be storms in our lives for which we have no control or authority over. We should focus on ourselves and the other things over which we have control to address those storms.

Note: This interpretation is our opinion. We encourage you to agree, disagree, or provide an alternate interpretation.