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Cat language: Idioms and Phrases

They are our companions in everyday life from the past up till now. Previously they lived together with people for practical reasons. Nowadays they are part of the stressful life that the city imposes on us and they make us relaxed with their playful games.
And, as it is natural after so many years of living together, they have left their footprints not only on us but also in our language.

Greek expressions about Cats

“Γάτα με πέταλα”
 Cat with horseshoes: this is how we call a very capable and skillful man.

“Σα βρεγμένη γάτα”
Like a wet cat: it is used for someone who reacts in a way that makes it clear he has realized his mistake or his responsibilities.

“Όσο πατάει η γάτα”
As a cat steps on you:  a common expression which means: a little, soft, gently / without really understanding it. Usually it is used in an ironic way, like:
A: “Sorry. I stepped on your toes. Did I hurt you?”
B: ” As a cat steps on you”.

“Σκίζω τη γάτa”
I tear up the cat:
 I’m imposing, I assert myself.

“Τρώγονται σαν το σκύλο με τη γάτα”
They quarrel like the dog with the cat:
 for a relationship which is characterized by continuous and successive quarrels.

“Γάτα που κοιμάται ποντικούς δεν πιάνει”
Sleeping cat can’t catch mice: if somebody is lazy, it is normal he is ineffective in his work or stays hungry.

“Ούτε γάτα ούτε ζημιά”
Neither cat nor damage
: a very common phrase that is used for a transgression which is done and corrected or something bad which happened but is without importance.

“Όταν λείπει η γάτα χορεύουν τα ποντίκια”
When the cat is away the mice dance
: an expression that exists in many languages with the same meaning. “When what scares us is absent, we act arbitrarily doing what we want”.

“Κι αλευρωμένος να ‘ναι ο ποντικός, η γάτα τον γνωρίζει”
 Even if a mouse is sprinkled with flour, the cat can recognize it: even if people try not to reveal their real person, their character can be recognized.

“Κάνει σαν την λυσσασμένη γάτα
It acts like a rabid cat:
 someone reacts very aggressively.

“Η γάτα όπως κι αν την πετάξεις (ή τη ρίξεις), με τα τέσσερα θα πέσει”
Ιn whatever way you throw a cat, she will land on her 4 feet:
 it is used for those who despite difficulties manage to stay upright.

“Με γέρο γάτο κάθεσαι, ποντίκια μην φοβάσαι”. 
If you are sitting with an old cat, you do not have to be afraid of mice: if someone has the required experience, you do not need to worry about anything.

“Για να μη φάει ο γάτος το ψωμί, τρώει ο ποντικός τα ρούχα”.
In order to prevent the cat from eating the bread, the mouse eats the clothes: we use it when in order to avoid damage, we create another bigger one.

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