"Gosh, the cat is biting its tail!" - We've all heard this proverb somewhere before. But what exactly does it mean? And are cats really biting their tails? Here you can find more about the strange saying.
Whether it means "the cat bites its tail" or "the dog bites its tail" does not matter in importance. The phrase is with both animals. Whether dog or cat - we say both when a certain situation seems rather hopeless.
What does "cat biting its tail" mean?
The meaning of "the cat bites its tail" always refers to a thing or situation that turns in a circle. It can also be a paradoxical situation that starts over and over again. A thing or a situation that is described as "the cat biting its tail" could also be synonymously called a vicious circle or circularity. Mostly it is about cause and effect mutually dependent.
An example of the idiom
An example of the use of the proverb is as follows: A man has a problem: his Internet connection at home has failed. However, its Internet service provider can only be contacted via e-mail or via the Internet. Since he does not come to the Internet, he can not reach the Internet provider and this can not solve the problem. "The cat bites its tail!", The man could then call mocking.
Are cats really biting their throats?
In fact, cats, especially young cats, sometimes bite themselves in the tail. This can happen, among other things, out of the play instinct or because they do not always realize that the tail really belongs to them. Incidentally, dogs are no different. Dogs sometimes even bite into their own tail due to a skipping action - so the saying also makes sense with a dog. In the following video you see a funny cat trying to catch her own tail.
The symbol of the cat turning in a circle is thus analogous to the thing or the situation, which also turns in a circle and where a solution seems to be far away. Incidentally, the phrase is closely related to the saying: "There the mouse bites off no thread".