the cat’s ass
My mother once described a certain person’s defining characteristic this way: “He thinks he’s the cat’s ass.”
I’ve always been especially fond of this phrase as a way of describing a person who was a little too full of himself, even though I was never quite sure what vanity had to do with a cat’s butt. And then …
Then, we adopted Scooter, who thinks his butt is the best butt in the whole world. Not only does he think his butt is the best butt, but he is absolutely positive you would think so, too, if you would only take a long, close look at it, which you will have to do if you let him jump up into your lap. He will insist that you look at it. He will walk back and forth across your lap facing away from you so as to parade his butt again and again across your field of view.
And he will hip-check you, which is his way of asking you to pat his butt. Not pet, although he would like that, too, but he really likes it when you pat him on his butt. He does not like it nearly as much when you pet his head or any other part of him. Butt-patting is his jam. You would be his best friend forever if you would pat his butt for hours and hours.
I am not especially fond of cat’s butts. When it comes to cats, the kind I appreciate most is one who will sit in my lap, purring quietly while I scritch behind his ears. Scooter is not that cat at all, but I appreciate that he gave me a clearer understanding of the phrase, “he thinks he’s the cat’s ass.”