There’s no use having a dog and barking yourself.
In the Oxford Dictionary of Phrase, Saying and Quotation a version of this is “Why keep a dog and bark yourself?” It is a saying in the section on excess and moderation. It doesn’t take two people with different skills to do a job one of them is good at, perhaps.
There again, I could have misunderstood and be barking up the wrong tree. Dogs chase cats. When a cat climbs a tree to escape, all the dog can do is wait at the bottom of the trunk and bark. If the dog has lost sight of the cat…
Playing cat and mouse is an expression based on the observation that, when a cat has caught a mouse, it doesn’t kill it straightaway, but pretends to let it go and then catches it again repeatedly. The saying is about a powerful person, group or nation doing something similar with a weaker one.
She looked at me like something the cat’s brought in.
Pet cats often catch little birds they do not wish to eat and bring them home. Not a welcome present.
Cat’s eyes are a useful invention for road safety.
Photo credit Wikimedia Commons http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Catseye_closeup.jpg
A tiger’s eye is a semi-precious stone.
Beavering away means working hard. Beavers are not a species found in the UK, but they build dams in rivers, where they live.
An eager beaver is someone who is keen to get on with a job.
Badgering someone means pestering them to do something.
To smell a rat is to suspect something is not what it is made out to be.
In her book “Little Grey Rabbit’s Party”, Alison Uttley turned the usual abbreviation on a party invitation, RSVP, into “Rat shan’t visit party!”
Using someone as a guinea pig means trying something out on them. Rats and guinea pigs have been popular animals for research projects.
“Skin a rabbit!” is often said to a young child as a tight-fitting garment is removed over the head.
As drunk as a skunk is not a saying I heard when I was young. I suspect it has crossed the Atlantic and is popular because it is a rhyme.
Squirrelling something away means saving it for later as squirrels do when they bury nuts. The ones they forget about may grow into trees!
A panda car was a police car marked in black and white. They seem to be luminous yellow and blue now, at least where I live.
Monkey business is slang for mischief.
Don’t monkey with electricity was the wording on posters for a safety campaign.
The Bible was written before mankind learned to harness electricity. However God’s power was displayed many times. One story is in 1 Kings Chapter 18 verses 16 to 39