Wednesday 9 January 2019


I'm sure you're already aware that a cat is a grown up kitten, or any other member of the Felis family, such as a lion or tiger (often referred to as big cats). The term cat can also be applied to members of other species which have a catlike appearance.

If a person is described as a cat they'll almost certainly be female and definitely malicious or spiteful. To be catty is to behave as this kind of cat, not the furry four-legged version.

At one time I had a day job in which I used a cat. A cat-o'-nine-tails that is. This was a rope whip, used historically to punish sailors. It got its name from the nine knotted tails and the belief that cats have nine lives. I was gentle when I demonstrated. Well gentle-ish! (These cats were carried in bags – you didn't want to be around when the cat was let out of the bag.)

If you're a cat's paw then you're someone who is used by another, a cat burglar enters a building by climbing up to a window, balcony or roof and a cat and dog relationship is an argumentative one.

A person or thing described as the cat's whiskers or cat's pyjamas will be excellent in some way.

Here's a free to enter competition to win a three book deal with Choc Lit Publishing. The entry must feature a cat in some way. The snag is you only have until the end of next month to enter – now that's put the cat among the pigeons!

There are other phrases containing the word cat – can you think of any?


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patsy - lots of cuddly things to say about cats ... perhaps the best is they're independent! Cat's Claw came to mind ... a plant with healing properties, but thorns shaped like guess what - cat's claws ... cheers Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm sure the first cat to wear PJ's wasn't feeling so excellent.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

over here, we talk about getting cattorwhalloped

Patsy said...

@ Hilary I don't know that plant – must look it up.

@ Alex – No - nor the person who wrestled it into them.

@ Mab – That's not an expression I've ever heard before. This blog is a real education for me!

Maria said...

The cat certainly hasn't got your tongue Patsy. And I bet you're grinning like a Cheshire cat reading this?