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Hey Bigt - welcome to the site.
Let's see if we can narrow down what's wrong with your mower ( and help future readers)
I take from your post that your mowers engine will not turn over when you turn the key.
Our basic questions:
what is the full model number of your machine (to find correct wiring diagram)
did this just happen or have you had intermittent no starts?
Have you performed any repairs on it recently?
Has the battery been losing its charge while sitting?
some of the clues you have given need to be explored a little. First, understand that the solenoid only provides power to the starter while the key is in the start position. Once the key is in the run position, 12v goes through the key switch ti all the other functions of the mower. So basically, we have two circuits.
With the key off, and the negative cable hooked to the battery, you should not get a spark when you go to connect the positive cable. That could mean that the positive side is making connection through the key switch some how. You can confirm this by unhooking the cable on the solenoid that goes to the starter and check for a spark when you hook up the positive cable on the battery. If there is a spark, then there is a problem on the key switch circuit. If the spark goes away, the problem may be on the starter side, including the solenoid.
There should also be a smaller wire on the battery side of the solenoid the powers the key switch related functions.
When chasing down an electrical problem, the "divide and conquer" method helps by isolating circuits to eliminate circuits that are not the problem.
PS I found a service manual for a 2009 and it refers to electrical systems that are "pre-RMC) or "RMC systems). Meaning that there may be a electronic control module to contend with.
Cub Cadet 2009 manual
 
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