Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thursday Trivia: Little Cat Feet

There's not much of a mystery surrounding today's phrase. But I love its descriptive qualities so much that I wanted to share it with you.

And I have run into a few people who didn't know its origin, so I quickly grabbed at this as an excuse to post about it!

"Little cat feet" was made famous in the early 20th century by poet Carl Sandburg, when he used those words to describe the quiet manner in which fog can come drifting in over a harbor.

No one models cat feet better than our feline fashionista, Allie

For those of us trapped in winter's Polar Vortex, I argue that the same can be said of snow! (Minus the plows, snowblowers and shovels, of course.)  There's something very sound deadening and silent about a blanket of snow as it falls and envelops the world in white.

And lest I appear to be waxing poetic about the deep freeze that has held those of us in the U.S. and Canada firmly in its grip, just so we're clear: we are SO over it!

We leave you today with Carl Sandburg's Fog, first published in an anthology of modern poetry in 1919:

By Carl Sandburg

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent hanches
and then moves on."

The oldest cat feet in recorded history? They were found in an archaeological dig in India in 1943, called the Chanhu-Daro Excavations. Click here for a photo of these ancient pawprints!

Bibliographic record: Louis Untermeyer, ed. Modern American Poetry. 1919. Harcourt, Brace and Howe.
Poetry Foundation


  1. Funny we have never heard of that phrase before. We can well imagine you all have had enough of the white stuff. Hope the vortex shifts soon. Have a tremendous Thursday.
    Best wishes Molly

  2. You are right about Allie's paws. THEY are fabulously fashionable!!

  3. Who would have ever known. Thanks for the education. Yes, we are so OVER WINTER! Allie - you cute little toesies are so precious.

  4. I just love that poem, you can so totally see it. Allie really is the best paw model ever! I adore her pink claw caps!

  5. Golly. It just keeps snowing, doesn't it?
    We liked the cat prints on the manuscript. It's :p

  6. MOL......Mom came home last night and Dad didn't hear her....she said she walked in on little cats feet!!! :)

    The Florida Furkids

  7. My human learned that poem in grade school. :)

  8. allie...your toes are worthy of the runways in PARIS !!!! hugs girl from dai$y =^..*=

  9. Oh, we love that saying! The head peep accuses us of sneaking up on her with "little cat feet." Except when we thunder through the house like a herd of elephants, anyhow.

  10. Allie has adorable feet. Thanks for the link. The information and photos there were so interesting. Purrs and paw-pats, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

  11. I do so love your trivia posts, I always feel smarter once I've read them!!!

  12. Love the trivia post! The link was cool too! thanks


Coolio! A comment? For US?