be sitting in the catbird seat
be (sitting) in the catbird seat
To be in a powerful position. The phrase likely refers to the catbird's preference for high tree branches (which keep predators at bay). As the CEO's assistant, you are definitely sitting in the catbird seat. The retirement of the company's president left its vice president suddenly in the catbird seat.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
be sitting in the catbird seator
be in the catbird seatAMERICAN, OLD-FASHIONED
If you are sitting in the catbird seat or are in the catbird seat, you are in an important or powerful position. He'd go broke tomorrow if I left him, and I'd be sitting in the catbird seat. If the campaign is quick, short and successful, both leaders will be in the catbird seat. Note: This expression became widely known in the 1940s and 1950s, when it was used by the baseball commentator Red Barber. Catbirds are North American songbirds. The expression may be explained by the fact that catbirds often sit very high up in trees.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012