Like a cat he'll fall on his legs. To succeed, never to fail, always right.
Like a cat round hot milk. Wait and have; all things come to those who wait.
Little and little the cat eateth the stickle
Heywood. Constant dropping weareth a stone.
Long and slender like a cat's elbotv
Hazlitt. A sneer at the ill-favoured.
Love me, love my cat
This refers to one marrying; in taking a wife he must take her belongings. Or, where you like, you must avoid contention.
Never was cat or dog drowned that could see the shore. To know the way often brings a right ending.
None but cats and dogs are allowed to quarrel here. All else agree.
No playing with a straw before an old cat
Heywood, 1562. Every trifling toy age cannot laugh at "Youth and Folly, Age and Wisdom."
Rats walk at their ease if cats do not them meese
Wodroephe, 1623. Rogues abound where laws are weak.
Send not a cat for lard
George Herbert. Put not any to temptation.
So as cat is after kind. Near friends are dearest. Birds of a feather flock together.
Take the chestnuts out of the fire with the cat's paw. Making use of others to save oneself.
That comes of a cat will catch mice. What is bred in the bone comes out in the flesh. Like father, like son.
The cat and dog may kiss, but are none the better friends. Policy is one thing, friendship another.
The cat invites the mouse to her feast. It is difficult for the weak to refuse the strong.
The cat is in the cream-pot. Any one's fault but hers. A row in the house (Northern).
The cat is hungry when a crust contents her. Hunger is-a good sauce.
The cat is out of kind that sweet milk will not lap. One is wrong who forsakes custom. - " History of Jacob and Esau," 1568.
The cat, the rat, and Lovel the dog, rule England tender one hog
"A Myrrour for Magistrates," edition 1563, fol. 143. This couplet is a satire on Richard III. (who carried a boar on his escutcheon) and his myrmidons, Ca/esby, Eatcliffe, and Lovell.
The cat would eat fish, and would not wet her feet. - Heywood, 1562.
"Fain would the cat fish eat, But she is loth to wet her feet."
"What cat's averse to fish?" - Gray.
Dr. Trench has pointed out the allusion to this saying in Macbeth, when Lady Macbeth speaks of her husband as-a man,
"Letting I dare not, wait upon I would, Like the poor cat i' the adage."
The cat sees not the mouse ever
Heywood. Those that should hide, see more than they who seek. The fearful eye sees far.
The liquorish cat gets many a rap. The wrong-doer escapes not.
The more you rub a cat on the back, the higher she sets her tail. Praise the vain and they are more than pleased. Flattery and vanity are near akin.
The mouse lords it where the cat is not
MS., 15th century. The little rule, where there are no great.
The old cat laps as much as the young
Clarke. One evil is much like another.
They agree like two cats in gutter
Heywood. To be less than friends.
They argue like cats and dogs. That is to quarrel.
Thou'It strip it, as Stack stripped the cat when he pulled her out of the churn. To take away everything.
Though the cat winks awhile, yet sure he is not blind. To know all and pretend ignorance.
To grin like a Cheshire cat. Said to be like a cheese cat, often made in Cheshire; but this is not very clear, and the meaning doubtful.
To go like a cat on a hot bake-slone. To lose no time. To be swift and stay not.
To keep a cat from the tongs. To stop at home in idleness. It is said of a youth who stays at home with his family, when others go to the wars abroad, in "A Health to the Gentlemanly Profession of Serving Men," 1598.
Too late repents the rat when caught by the cat. Shun danger, nor dare too long.
To love it as a cat loves mustard. Not at all. To abhor.
Two cats and a mouse, two wives in one house, two dogs and one bone, never agree. No peace when all want to be masters, or to possess one object.
Well might the cat wink when both her eyes were out. "Sumwhat it was sayeth the proverbe old, That the cat winked when here iye was out."
Jack Juggler, edit. 1848, p. 46. Those bribed are worse than blind.
" Well wots the cat whose beard she licketh." - Skelton's Garlande of Laurel, 1523.
"Wel wot nure cat whas berd he lickat." - Wright's Essays, vol. i. p. 149.
"The cat knoweth whose lips she licketh." - Heywood, 1562.
The first appears the most correct.
What the good wife spares the cat eats. Favourites are well cared for.
When candles are out all cats are gray. In the dark all are alike. This is said of beauty in general.
When the cat is away the mice will play
"The Bachelor's Banquet," 1603. Heywood's "Woman Killed with Kindness," 1607. When danger is past, it is time to rejoice.
When the weasel and the cat make a marriage, it is very ill presage. When enemies counsel together, take heed; when rogues agree, let the honest folk beware.
When the maid leaves the door open, the cat's in fault. It is always well to have another to bear the blame. The way to do ill deeds oft makes ill deeds done.
Who shall hang the bell about the cat's neck? - Heywood, 1562.
"Who shall ty the bell about the cat's necke low?
Not I (quoth the mouse), for a thing that I know." The mice at a consultation held how to secure themselves from the cat, resolved upon hanging a bell about her neck, to give warning when she was near; but when this was resolved, they were as far to seek; for who would do it? - R. Who will court danger to benefit others?
A Douglas in the olden time, at a meeting of conspirators, said he would "bell the cat."Afterwards the enemy was taken by him, he retaining the cognomen of "Archibald Bell-the-cat."
You can have no more of a cat than its skin. You can have no more of a man but what he can do or what he has, or no more from a jug than what it contains.