Meaning: From a fable, perhaps of Aesop’s, in which a crafty monkey uses flattery to convince a cat to pull hot chestnuts from a fire. The cat singes his paw, and the monkey gobbles up the chestnuts leaving none for the cat…
cat’s-paw (plural cat’s-paws or cats’-paws)
- (figuratively) A pawn or dupe; somebody who has been unwittingly tricked into acting in another’s interest.
- A knot of a certain kind resembling a lark’s-foot hitch; see cat’s paw for more detailed information.
- A breeze that ruffles patches of a water surface.
- A small crowbar.