herd cats

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Possibly from the opening scene of Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979). Shepherds are discussing sheep and the topic strays to cats: "Can you imagine a herds of cats waiting to be sheared? Meow! Meow! Woo hoo hoo."[1]


herd cats (third-person singular simple present herds cats, present participle herding cats, simple past and past participle herded cats)

  1. (idiomatic, in similes) To attempt to control the uncontrollable.
    Managing volunteers from fourteen different organizations is like herding cats.


  1. ^ Script for Life of Brian[1], 1979, retrieved 17 August 2016