Greebo had spent an irritating two minutes in that box. Technically, a cat locked in a box may be alive or it may be dead. You never know until you look. In fact, the mere act of opening the box will determine the state of the cat, although in this case there were three determinate states the cat could be in: these being Alive, Dead, and Bloody Furious.
Shawn dived sideways as Greebo went off like a Claymore mine.
‘Don’t worry about him,’ said Magrat dreamily, as the elf flailed at the maddened cat. ‘He’s just a big softy.’
Sorry, I just can't stop quoting this book.