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About cat swinging

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759984.  Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:26 am Reply with quote

On the recent House & Homes episode, there was some talk about the term "room to swing a cat" and the unlikelihood that it referred to the naval cat o' nine tails whip.

There was something I read at one point in my life that might lend credence to the idea it was a real feline being swung. Unfortunately I can't find any references to it on the Web right now, but maybe someone else has heard the same.

Basically, the purpose of flinging a cat about was to scare away malicious spirits in a new home. Supposedly, the terrified yowls of a high velocity cat were so atrocious to the ears of ethereal evildoers that they packed their bags and left for quieter lodgings. Hence, when people saw a new room, the first thing they considered was performing the ritual to make the place more homely.

Hopefully I'm not the only person to have heard this story and it makes at least some sense.

Untutored Eye
759989.  Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:59 am Reply with quote


I thought this thread was going to be about the promiscuous lifestyle of the average frisky suburban tabby.

760096.  Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:45 am Reply with quote

I don't know about cat swinging as a protection spell, but certainly there was a belief in burying a dead cat in the walls of a house or under the threshold as a protection. Renovation work uncovers them all the time, sometimes associated with other charms (bent nails, witch bottles, etc.).

Connection? Did they swing the cat around (live or dead) as part of the spell? Or is it all just part of the general field of cat lore?

Alfred E Neuman
760186.  Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:04 pm Reply with quote

No need to swing a cat, just get a bagpiper to come over and play.

Spud McLaren
760189.  Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:26 pm Reply with quote

Ah, yes The definition of a gentleman is - a man who can play the bagpipes.

But doesn't.

760221.  Sun Nov 14, 2010 6:41 pm Reply with quote

How about getting Wagner to sing at full volume that would drive most things away.


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