cat's-paw

(redirected from cats paw)

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 tricks a cat into using his a paw to retrieve chestnuts from a fire. The phrase is sometimes spelled without a hyphen. 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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The Oregon Court of Appeals recently revived a whistleblower retaliation claim filed against local sportswear giant Nike by adopting a novel legal concept known as the cats paw theory.
regime, September 07, 2009 (Frontier Star): Nawaz Sharif MURREE, PML-N Chief Mian Nawaz Sharif has emphasized that PML-N will not become a cats paw for anyone to sabotage the democratic process in the country and the ongoing crisis of the country could be addressed only through a revolution.
The move has effectively taken Lebanon out of the equation, or at least reduced its weight in the equation, because Israel signalled with the strike that the proxy use of Lebanon as a "cats paw" by Syria was no longer applicable - and it got an American endorsement of this change in approach.
The versatile design of the bright yellow ScrubSafe allows it to be used on one side to contain scalpels, drain trocars, K-wires, Steinman pins, skin hooks, and Cats Paw retractors; special sloping sides guide and capture instruments in a position that allows only safe grasping to occur.
Rock salt used on foot paths can irritate foot pads so on returning from walks clean your dog and cats paws. Holly, mistletoe and poinsetta plants are not pet friendly..
"The Stikitty changed that-it's lightweight, doesn't hurt cats paws, and doesn't need to be shaken out.
Some people find that putting butter on cats paws helps them to smell their way home if they get lost.