Saturday, 18 April 2015

P Is For Cat's Paw

In today's A to Z Blogging Challenge


P is for Cat's Paw

THERE is a fable called The Monkey and the Cat in which a monkey persuades a cat to use his paw to fish some chestnuts out of the fire. He promises the cat a share but eats them all  himself and the cat burns his paw. So "a cat's paw" has come to mean a person who is tricked into becoming an accomplice. Rubbish fable, if you ask me. Firstly, a cat would never be fooled in this way and, secondly, cats don't eat chestnuts. QED.



But this isn't the only meaning of the phrase "cat's paw". It could also refer to a knot which is used for connecting a rope to an object like a hook. Looks tricky to me but it's a very secure knot that doesn't slip. Handy for tying up the monkey so he can't get to the cat.



 Then there's the Cat's Paw Nebula (also known as the Bear Claw Nebula) which is situated in the constellation Scorpius.  It was discovered by astronomer John Herschel in 1837, who observed it from the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.  I'd tell you more about the Cat's Paw Nebula if I knew what a nebula was. I Googled it but was no further forward after reading the explanation. Here's a picture and I can see the resemblance. It's far enough away (5,500 light years from Earth) to send the monkey to so he doesn't bother the cat.



There is also a tool called a Cat's Paw nail-puller. This would have been ideal for fighting off the monkey.



Then there's the Cat's Paw Mussel. If you spot a few, don't cook them in wine, cream and garlic but tell a scientist as they are nearing extinction - and don't feed them to either the monkey or the cat.




A more sinister Cat's Paw is an instrument of torture also known as the Spanish Tickler, which sounds kind of saucy but is in fact particularly gruesome. I'm too squeamish to go into any detail. If only the monkey had used this to get the chestnuts out of the fire.




A Cat's Paw is a small Australian plant of the bloodwort family. Don't feed to either monkeys or cats.



Lastly, there's the Cat's Paw Wave which are shallow ripples on water caused by light winds that look a bit like paw prints. Don't put these on a fire unless you want to put it out.



I couldn't find any other definitions of Cat's Paw apart from the obvious.
A Cat's Paw: the object stuck on the end of a Cat's Leg and used to get his own way. See video below:



 

And finally, there was a comment about this YouTube video that made me laugh.  It said: "Oh sure, I try to get random women to scratch my head and I get called a creep, but a cat does it and everyone says how cute it is."


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10 comments:

When the cat is away said...

“A Cat's Paw: the object stuck on the end of a Cat's Leg and used to get his own way.” Hahaha! Sorry, I just had to quote this, wonderful!

I had no idea about the different meanings of cat paws! Thank you, this was very entertaining and interesting for a non-native speaker!

A2Z challenge. www.whenthecatisaway.com Participant number 1281

Darla M Sands said...

Brilliant captions on each definition! You made me laugh out loud. Literally.

Oh, and that cute video looks like a fun time unless your cat uses her claws. ~ouch~ My dear departed Luna learned that headphones made meowing obsolete, so she would somehow align her paw to poke the inside of my upper arm from behind. In case you don't know, that is some extremely sensitive skin. Bless the little stinker's heart.

Best wishes. Oh, and I'm number 1251 on the A to Z blog list today.

Shonna Slayton said...

I'll have to look for cat's paw waves next time I'm at the lake. It's so relaxing to stare out at the water, but now I can tell people I'm not wasting time, I'm looking for cat's paws!

Birgit said...

I would think the cat would just swat the monkey's face off with its paw-my one cat would for sure. I am not seeing the paw in the nebula but that torture device is more like a cat's claw and it does not look pretty. The cute pussy cat in the video is just the sweetest

Liz A. said...

A nebula is just a cloud of dust and gas in space. Not much more to it than that. And some have interesting shapes.

I like that knot. I'll have to learn how to do it.

pilch92 15andmeowing said...

That is a lot of cats' paws- I had never heard of any of those.

When the cat is away said...

Hi, it’s me again. I just wanted to let you know that I gave you the inspirational blog award, http://whenthecatisaway.com/crazy-shelter-stories/ . I’m so glad you joined the A to Z challenge and I can relate to almost all your posts. You inspire me, because your posts encourage me to continue the challenge to its end.

That's Purrfect said...

That is so kind of you and I'm thrilled! Love your blog too! XX

Amrit Sinha said...

Ha ha ... I loved the Youtube comment too :D

Mark Clough said...

Impressive, not only are we entertained, we are educated.