Quotes from Cat's Cradle

Kurt Vonnegut ·  306 pages

Rating: (289.5K votes)


“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“In the beginning, God created the earth, and he looked upon it in His cosmic loneliness.

And God said, "Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what We have done." And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man. Mud as man alone could speak. God leaned close to mud as man sat up, looked around, and spoke. Man blinked. "What is the purpose of all this?" he asked politely.

"Everything must have a purpose?" asked God.

"Certainly," said man.

"Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this," said God.

And He went away.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“Live by the harmless untruths that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“I'm not a drug salesman. I'm a writer."

"What makes you think a writer isn't a drug salesman?”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“There is love enough in this world for everybody, if people will just look.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order so they'll have good voice boxes in case there's ever anything really meaningful to say.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“Perhaps, when we remember wars, we should take off our clothes and paint ourselves blue and go on all fours all day long and grunt like pigs. That would surely be more appropriate than noble oratory and shows of flags and well-oiled guns.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“The Fourteenth Book is entitled, "What can a Thoughtful Man Hope for Mankind on Earth, Given the Experience of the Past Million Years?"
It doesn't take long to read The Fourteenth Book. It consists of one word and a period.
This is it: "Nothing.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“No wonder kids grow up crazy. A cat's cradle is nothing but a bunch of X's between somebody's hands, and little kids look and look and look at all those X's . . ."
"And?"
"No damn cat, and no damn cradle.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“Americans... are forever searching for love in forms it never takes, in places it can never be. It must have something to do with the vanished frontier.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“She hated people who thought too much. At that moment, she struck me as an appropriate representative for almost all mankind.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before. He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“Maturity...is knowing what your limitations are...Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“Round and round we spin, with feet of lead and wings of tin.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“God made mud.
God got lonesome.
So God said to some of the mud, "Sit up!"
"See all I've made," said God, "the hills, the sea, the
sky, the stars."
And I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look
around.
Lucky me, lucky mud.
I, mud, sat up and saw what a nice job God had done.
Nice going, God.
Nobody but you could have done it, God! I certainly
couldn't have.
I feel very unimportant compared to You.
The only way I can feel the least bit important is to
think of all the mud that didn't even get to sit up and
look around.
I got so much, and most mud got so little.
Thank you for the honor!
Now mud lies down again and goes to sleep.
What memories for mud to have!
What interesting other kinds of sitting-up mud I met!
I loved everything I saw!
Good night.
I will go to heaven now.
I can hardly wait...
To find out for certain what my wampeter was...
And who was in my karass...
And all the good things our karass did for you.
Amen.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“Self-taught, are you?" Julian Castle asked Newt.
"Isn't everybody?" Newt inquired.
"Very good answer.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“As Bokonon says: 'peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from god.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“How complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“I said I wasn't interested, and she was bright enough to say that she wasn't really interested either. As things turned out, we both overestimated our apathies, but not that much.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“As stupid and vicious as men are, this is a lovely day.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“Busy, busy, busy, is what we Bokononists whisper whenever we think of how complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“Anyone unable to understand how useful religion can be founded on lies will not understand this book either.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“If I were a younger man, I would write a history of human stupidity; and I would climb to the top of Mount McCabe and lie down on my back with my history for a pillow; and I would take from the ground some of the blue-white poison that makes statues of men; and I would make a statue of myself, lying on my back, grinning horribly, and thumbing my nose at You Know Who.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“Sometimes I wonder if he wasn't born dead. I never met a man who was less interested in the living. Sometimes I think that's the trouble with the world: too many people in high places who are stone-cold dead.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


“The heartbreaking necessity of lying about reality and the heartbreaking impossibilty of lying about it”
― Kurt Vonnegut, quote from Cat's Cradle


About the author

Kurt Vonnegut
Born place: in Indianapolis, Indiana, The United States
Born date November 11, 1922
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