The Fox and the Cat

 

The Fox and the Cat (Italian: Il gatto e la volpe, the  names sequence is reversed as gatto means "cat" and volpe means "fox")  are a pair of fictional characters who appear in Carlo Collodi's book  The Adventures of Pinocchio (Le avventure di Pinocchio). Both are  depicted as con-men, who lead Pinocchio astray and unsuccessfully  attempt to murder him.

The pair pretend to sport disabilities; the  Fox lameness and the Cat blindness. The Fox is depicted as the more  intelligent of the two, with the Cat usually limiting itself to  repeating the Fox's words.


Pinocchio  encounters the two after leaving Mangiafuoco's theatre with five gold  coins, whereupon the Fox claims to know Pinocchio's father Mister  Geppetto and proposes to Pinocchio to visit the Land of Barn Owls (Paese  dei Barbagianni) and thence to a 'Field of Miracles' (Il campo dei  Miracoli), where coins can be grown into a money-producing tree. A white  blackbird warns Pinocchio against these lies, but is eaten by the Cat.  The Fox covered up this action by claiming that the blackbird talks too  much. The pair lead Pinocchio to the Red Prawn Inn (Osteria del Gambero  Rosso), where they eat a large meal and ask to be awoken at midnight.


Two  hours before the set time, the pair abandon Pinocchio to pay for the  meal with one of his coins and has the innkeeper leave a message for  Pinocchio that the Cat's eldest kitten had fallen ill, and that they  would meet Pinocchio at the Field of Miracles later. When Pinocchio  leaves the inn, the two attack him in disguise of murderers, and in the  ensuing struggle, Pinocchio bites off the Cat's paw. The murderers then  hang Pinocchio from a tree, which he escapes with the assistance of The  Fairy with Turquoise Hair who enlisted a falcon to cut him down.


The  next day, Pinocchio encounters the pair again unaware that they are the  murderers that hung him. When Pinocchio notices the Cat's missing paw,  the Fox claims that the Cat lost a paw to feed a starving wolf. They  lead Pinocchio to the town of Catchfools (Acchiappa Citrulli), where the  coins are soon buried. In Pinocchio's absence, the pair dig up the  coins and escape. Pinocchio learned of this from a parrot who mocked him  for falling for their tricks.


Near  the end of the book, Pinocchio encounters the Fox and the Cat again  when looking for a place for Geppetto to recuperate. This time, the pair  have become impoverished, whereas the Fox is now truly lame, nearly  hairless, and tailless (the Fox had to chop off his own tail to sell for  money), and the Cat truly blind. They plead for food or money, but are  rebuffed by Pinocchio while stating that it serves them right for their  wickedness. He then leaves saying goodbye to his "false friends”