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Friday Fanglish Cat Slang: Words From the Great Outdoors

What are "balance beam," "harnessing gravity," and "ruff around the edges?" Let's find out! You're right on time for our weekly Fanglish lesson.

Angie Bailey  |  Mar 18th 2016

It’s Friday, friends! You might have enjoyed some St. Paddy’s Day festivities last night, but now you’ll have to get sharp because it’s time for your weekly Fanglish cat slang lesson. Don’t worry — this will be an easy one, and then you can go back to nursing that hangover.

Humans aren’t the only ones who whooped it up on St. Patrick’s Day. My feline Fanglish informant was still half in the bag when he showed up with this week’s lesson. And I mean that literally. He, obviously stoned on the good stuff, dragged a catnip-filled bag along with him to our meeting. I’m surprised he even remembered our meeting spot! He told me he’d been to an all-nighter at a local catnip patch. He looked terrible, but his big night outside inspired him to bring us a list of outdoor-themed slang terms. Even if cats don’t go outside, or venture out only into their own yards, they can totally connect with these words and phrases.

And, of course, I rewarded my informant with his payment in the form of cat treats. In fact, I gave him two bags because he had a serious case of the munchies.

So here we go — straight from one stoned cat’s paws to our eyeballs. Remember to keep this lesson to yourself, because our cats like to think they still have some secrets from us humans.

1. Harnessing gravity

Dropping to the ground when a human attempts to attach a harness.

“Even though Peaches had worn the harness a hundred times, she still took to harnessing gravity before her outdoor jaunts.”

2. Balance beam

Everything in balance.

Everything in balance. Photo via Flickr

Remain steady while sunning in an unstable position.

“Kitty Boo Boo liked to warm her belly, so she tried to balance beam while falling asleep in the afternoon sun.”

3. Ruff around the edges

A dog standing or walking along the perimeter of a cat’s yard.

“Milky Way remained under the bushes because of the ruff around the edges.”

4. Hide-and-sneak


Invisible. Photo via Flickr

A game in which a cat conceals himself in tall grass while creeping toward an object.

“Patches saw Stripes at the other end of the yard and decided it was time for a game of hide-and-sneak.”

5. Chips ahoy!

A cat’s mental exclamation, signaling excitement over nearby chipmunks.

“Leo saw the gathering chipmunks across the yard and thought, ‘Chips ahoy!'”

6. Pining away

Spending the afternoon pining away.

Spending the afternoon pining away. Photo by Angie Bailey

Thoroughly examining foliage and wildlife beneath a pine tree.

“The Man tried to keep JoJo moving along on their walk, but the cat wouldn’t stop pining away.”

7. High roller

A cat who has partaken in catnip, and then rolls around in the fresh pile.

“Captain Waffles spent the afternoon in the catnip patch because he enjoyed being a high roller.”

8. Olive branch

Branching out.

Branching out. Photo via Flickr

A tree branch space given from one cat to another, as a peace offering after a fight.

“Delilah was hungry and tired of fighting with Mr. Whiskers, so she gave him the olive branch.”

9. Trunk show

The entertaining wildlife that gathers around the trunk of a tree.

“Uncle Boots and Mitzy wanted to go inside for treats, but the squirrels and birds in the trunk show kept them mesmerized.”

10. Bug eyes

The eyes have it.

The eyes have it. Photo via Flickr

A cat’s focused eyes while stalking an insect.

“Lucille turned on her bug eyes when she saw a beetle moving in the grass.”

11. Back-petal

A flower petal stuck to a cat’s back when he returns from an outdoor visit.

“Thomas had a back-petal, which told The Man he’d been investigating the garden.”

12. Tweet deck

An outdoor deck that’s covered with a variety of birds.

“Peanut stood very still underneath the lawn chair as his environment quickly became a tweet deck.”

Do you have any terms to add to the Fanglish dictionary? Leave them in the comments!

Read more Fanglish by Angie Bailey:

About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, and authored Texts from Mittens (originated right here on Catster) and whiskerslist: the kitty classifiedsMother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.