cat's paw


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

cat's-paw

A person who is used by another to achieve some end, especially in a duplicitous or cynical manner. Taken from a fable about a monkey who uses a cat's paw to retrieve chestnuts from a fire. I thought that Jake really loved me, but in the end, I was just a cat's-paw so he could stir up jealousy in his ex-boyfriend.

cat's paw

A dupe or tool for another, a sucker, as in You always try to make a cat's paw of me, but I refuse to do any more of your work. This term alludes to a very old tale about a monkey that persuades a cat to pull chestnuts out of the fire so as to avoid burning its own paws. The story dates from the 16th century and versions of it (some with a dog) exist in many languages.
See also: paw
References in periodicals archive ?
The purple cat's paw mussel is known to use some darter and sculpin species as host fish.
Japanese cat's paws and other small cat's bars start at $10 at home centers.
Insp Avery said: "We don't know how long it had been caught in the trap but the jaws have caused significant damage to the cat's paw.
For example, lavender-scented litter, which has been commercially available, can potentially cause irritation of a cat's paw pads.
Proctor Hospital validating the cat's paw theory of discrimination, employment lawyers have been watching for the circuits to define guidelines for defense of such a claim.
I use a cat's paw to connect the Dacron loop to the Bimini-twisted double line.
The open cluster M6 is at the top, followed by the reddish-emission nebulae NGC 6357 (middle right) and NGC 6334, the Cat's Paw Nebula.
Less well-known are cat's paw, crabber's eye, Turk's head, sheepshank, halliard hitch, carrick bend and granny knots.
Neil has done forum theatre work with Cat's Paw, rock and roll panto at Mold's Clwyd Theatr Cymru and last year was the Storyteller at Stafford Gatehouse.
Britain's role now was to act as a bridgehead, a kind of cat's paw funnelling Toyotas and Hondas across the Channel.
At the time of the '80s war in Nicaragua, Soviet leaders had the world's Cold War going dangerously hot, surreptitiously sending large amounts of military aid to their cat's paw Sandinista comrades.
Once the nailhead is high enough, you can grip it with a cat's paw or hammer claw without marring the deck board (Photo 2).
Fish Creek supports 43 species of fish and 31 species of mussels, including 3 endangered species: the white cat's paw pearly mussel (Epioblasma obliquata perobliqua), northern riffleshell mussel (Epioblasma torulosa rangiana), and clubshell mussel (Pleurobema clara).
He would not be a cat's paw for men jockeying for position at Court.
Second, for the first time, the Supreme Court affirmed the validity of the cat's paw theory of discrimination, which contends that an employee has a valid discrimination claim even if the person who makes the negative employment decision is not biased if the decision is based on information from someone else who is biased.