herd cats

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be like herding cats

To be very unwieldy or unmanageable; to be nearly impossible to organize. Usually said of a group of people. Getting all of the extended family into their right places for the reunion photo was like herding cats! It's like herding cats trying to manage all these different software development teams.
See also: cat, herd, like

herd cats

To attempt to coordinate or control subjects that are uncooperative. Often used as a point of comparison in the phrase "like herding cats." Trying to get my two toddlers out the door these days is like herding cats!
See also: cat, herd
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
COALITION BID Corbyn will be herding cats this week in meetings with hissing party leaders and MPs against a chaotic job-destroying Brexit.
Frontman Kev Sherry joked: "Organising things with Attic Lights is a bit like herding cats or, more accurately, musical chairs.
If you're not routinely around babies (and I no longer was) their needs, their peccadilloes, their paltry range of communication skills, can make dealing with them akin to herding cats. Or being Theresa May at yetanother-Brexit-showdown ("he is crying.
It's been a few years since all three of mine have put in an appearance together, since trying to assemble them for a weekend visit is like herding cats.
Downton Abbey film is being held up by busy work schedules says actress Phyllis Logan: 'It's like herding cats'
Unsolicited viral videos clips, memes and tones of text become the groups staple.HERDING CATSSoon, the group starts to fall apart and the admin is chastised for his inability to whip the wayward members to order: managing a social media group is like herding cats.
Bennis Warren tells us in Managing People is Like Herding Cats that, 'All successful leaders learn to embrace error and to learn from it.
While I'm sure they aren't perfect, they have my sympathy because I suspect trying to manage the game in a manner that keeps all the stakeholders happy is like herding cats.
"I dont think the public always fully understands that some of those are about herding cats and managing your coalitions," he said.
When the storm is in this stage, forecasting an accurate path is hard as herding cats, regardless of the weather model, despite the availability of live data from so many reliable sources, such as temperature, humidity, wind speed, air pressure as well as water temperature and salinity of water - and at multiple levels of the atmosphere.
Franke went to Airbus several months ago with a proposal to pool the needs of his airlines, setting in train a complex negotiation that one observer described as "herding cats."
In the Senate, where Valliere says "passing anything is like herding cats," the tax bill will be no exception.
Richard, of Cardiff Bay, said: "The folly of the idea of herding cats is intentional and CatZebra is intentionally fun.
"A lot of assistant directors say you only have to ask exmilitary people once and they snap to it - with civvies it can be like herding cats.
That's a contrast from the days when he was herding cats such as Paul McCartney David Bowie and Billy Joel.