cat and mouse
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See also: cat-and-mouse
- A relationship in which two parties closely monitor and challenge one another in a suspicious or self-protective manner, often because each party is attempting to gain an advantage over the other.
- The Allied and the enemy submarine played a game of cat and mouse, checking up on each other's whereabouts and strategies.
- The hackers played a cat and mouse game with the system administrators: the hackers kept trying new tricks, and the system administrators kept mounting electronic defenses.
- 2007, Marvin J. Levine, Worker Rights and Labor Standards in Asia’s Four New Tigers:
- In practice, however, it is extremely difficult to form a new union and the unions are engaged in a constant game of cat and mouse with the Registrar.
- 2014, Alison Weir, The Marriage Game:
- She loved their daily rides, the easy banter, the flirtatious game of cat and mouse they played.
- A form of attack in which the attacker toys with the victim by inflicting minor damage or letting the victim have futile hopes of escape before finally finishing the victim off.
- 2009, Judith C. Issette, Messenger of Death, page 34:
- He was thinking how wonderful this game of cat and mouse was. He loved the game and the feeling of control he had over this poor innocent girl.
- 2009, Jarlon Magee, Travel in Fear:
- The payback for that would come in the form of a prolonged game of cat and mouse, finally culminating in a deadly game that he had perfected years earlier.
- 2014, Mark Derbyshire, New Worlds, page 30:
- She told of narrow escapes and a harried game of cat and mouse, until eventually she'd reached the darkened jungle in which Torys had found her.
- Often preceded by the verb play.
two keeping check on one another
- A children's game in which one player (the "cat") attempts to break through a ring of players to catch another player (the "mouse") in the centre.
- Alternative form of
- 1931, John Collis Snaith, Indian Summer, page 39:
- And I've made up my mind not to be cat and moused any more.
- 1965, Anthony Boucher, The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction, page 193:
- She was attractive in her white uniform and Brown had cat and moused her for a long time without real enthusiasm.
- 1967, United States. Congress. House. Committee on Ways and Means, Legislative History of H.R. 6950: 90th Congress, to Restore the Investment Credit and the Allowance of Accelerated Depreciation in the Case of Certain Real Property.:
- I am tired of being cat and moused, and for that reason I expect to vote against proposals which I am in favor of in principle, until we can have hearings on them, to determine whether they are economically viable and constitutionally sustainable.
- 1971, Chess Life & Review - Volume 26, page 441:
- ...K-Rl 30 N-B6, the game would be over unless we have more cat and mousing by 30 .
- 2011, Max Hobby, Oshgomshee and the Princess Syleen:
- Careful not to draw deep blood, I cat and moused him for another moment or two as the audience stared in awe.