In both cases, “care” means “concern” or “concern,” as is often the case in Shakespeare`s plays of the time (Compare the opening lines of King Henry IV of 1st Henry IV: “As shaken as we are, wan carefully”). The meaning is clearly different here: it is the worry or sorrow that killed the cat, not his nose while chewing. Of course, it is possible that it is not the care of the cat that is the cause of the problem, but that of the human owner: in other words, excessive anxiety about something can cause you harm to your fellow human beings. But this does not come out of the phrase “care killed the cat,” and it is impossible to know a few centuries later, with certainty, what the phrase should mean. Although cats were much infused in the Middle Ages and early modern times, not least because of their associations with witchcraft and black magic (black cats, of course), they obviously had their use to free the homes of rodents and other vermin. And it is clear that killing the cat both in Jonsons and in Shakespeare`s use of the phrase “care killed the cat” (or “care will kill a cat”) is considered something to avoid. The true proverb says: “The blood of the Union is thicker than the water of the womb.” The meaning of this proverb is actually the opposite of how we use it. The saying actually means that the connections they have made by choice are more important than the people to whom one is bound by the water of the uterus. The adage reflects the fact that the links you choose for yourself can mean much more than those in which you don`t have much to say. “It`s complicated,” the cat tells himself. “The only thing to do is to trick them.” So she thought for a moment, then climbed the wall and let herself hang by a stake on her hind legs and pretended to be dead. “Top-off, Half-Gone,” says the mouse.
“These names are so curious that it makes me a little suspicious, but move on.” “Care killed the cat” is already in 1598 in the urban comedy of Ben Jonson Every Man in His Humor. In this room we find the line: `Helter skelter, hang sorrow, care`ll kill a cat, up-tails all, and a louse for the hangman.` Shakespeare is said to have played the role of Kno`well, the elderly father in the first production of Jonson`s play, and he may remember Jonson`s use of “Care Killed the Cat” when he wrote his play Much Ado about Nothing, which would have been performed the following year.