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Play cat and mouse

刊登日期: 2020.01.17
作者: Grace Tse  

Around this time, we see a lot of red and golden decorations inside and outside the shopping malls all over Hong Kong. Some express auspicious Chinese phrases while some are beautifully crafted ornaments in the shape of a cute animal. All of these remind us that the Year of the Rat or the Year of the Mouse is coming very soon. 

Although mice are smart and agile, there is a popular belief that cats are good hunters of mice. Thus, the expression“play cat and mouse”is used figuratively to describe a situation where a person (i.e. the cat) tries to defeat someone (i.e. the mouse) by tricking or confusing that person. 

The private detective played cat and mouse(玩貓戲老鼠的遊戲; 耍弄; 欲擒故縱) with the thief who had stolen several masterpiece paintings

The phrase is also expressed as“play a game of cat and mouse”or“play a cat-and-mouse game”. 

Donald Trump and Xi Jinping are currently playing a cat-and-mouse game during the US-China trade deal talks. 

One of these versions appeared in 1887 in“The Pall Mall Gazette”,an evening newspaper founded in London. 

“They play a cat-and-mouse game with him for some time, making him believe that he is doomed to instant death.” 

During the Chinese New Year holiday, do find time to watch the American animated cartoon series,“Tom and Jerry”. This classic comedy presents the friendship and rivalry between the characters, Tom (a cat) and Jerry (a mouse) . The episodes show the cat-and-mouse game in a funny way: endless chases, near captures and repeated escapes.  

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