If you saw the dog idioms post last week, you’ll remember that an idiom is ‘a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words’ – eg over the moon, see the light. Here are some idioms about cats.
cat and mouse
A series of cunning manoeuvres designed to thwart an opponent.
the cat’s whiskers
An excellent person or thing.
cat got your tongue
Said to someone who remains silent when they are expected to speak.
let the cat out of the bag
Reveal a secret carelessly or by mistake.
like herding cats
Used to refer to a difficult or impossible task, typically an attempt to organize a group of people.
like the cat that got the cream
Self-satisfied, having achieved one’s objective.
look like something the cat dragged in
Look very dirty or dishevelled.
A cat may look at a king
Even a person of low status or importance has rights.
All cats are grey in the dark.
The qualities that distinguish people from one another are obscured in some circumstances, and if they can’t be perceived they don’t matter.
When the cat’s away, the mice will play.
People will naturally take advantage of the absence of someone in authority to do as they like.
Be extremely nervous or upset.
Cats or dogs?