In the news at the moment there is a plethora of cat analogies to describe the trials and tribulations of Boris Johnson, the UK’s former prime minister who recently resigned due to a cascade of criticism over his inability to stick to the rules. In the Sunday Times today there is a big article with the headline “Neutered!”. It is a reference to the neutering of the country’s big cat, a tomcat, namely Boris Johnson.
When a male domestic cat is neutered, they are feminised in effect. They lose their masculine appearance (jowly, square face) and some of their masculine behaviours. They become less aggressive in defending territory and get into less fights. When an animal is castrated, which describes neutering, it calms them down and makes them better pets. It is sad that humans have to do this to male cats. I prefer the unneutered appearance. Many years ago, I wrote an article about how castration affects a man in order to try and get into the head of how it feels to be a cat that’s been castrated (read about it by clicking this link)!
But the cat analogies don’t stop there for Boris Johnson. He himself coined the phrase “dead cat strategy” when writing for The Telegraph newspaper years ago. I have just written about that. It describes introducing something shocking to give to the news media in order to distract their attention away from one’s failings. I’m sure it is a policy that Boris Johnson used a lot during his premiership.
And of course, we have the legendary ‘nine lives’ of the domestic cat. Tim Shipman, The Sunday Times Chief Political Commentator, remembers “the words of someone else who used to work closely with him [Boris Johnson] who once told me: “Forget the cat with nine lives – Boris seems to have 99 lives.”
He defied political gravity it is said. And here’s another cat analogy: “Every time he fell upside down out of a skyscraper, he landed on his paws”. That, of course, is a reference to the self-righting mechanism of the domestic cat which allows them to land on their feet when they fall from any height. It’s a very rapid mechanism which is carried out instinctively by the domestic cat in the interests of self-preservation.
Although Boris Johnson was very good at self-preservation due to his boisterous optimism and determination he’s been removed by “a thousand cats”! That, too, is a variation on the “death by a thousand cuts” which was a form of torture and execution in Imperial China.
Tim Shipman, also writes that “a former number 10 official wryly observed, as the week ended: ‘Boris Johnson is the third Prime Minister to be brought down by Boris Johnson’. Neat. And true. It is sad because he has some amazing qualities but he simply does not think that society’s rules apply to him. And he should have got a decent hair cut years ago ?.
Below are some more articles on cat sayings.
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