|Photo by Mingo Hagen|
Verb & Noun. Late Middle English.
[from CAT noun + -er- connective + imitative final element.]
A1(a) verb intrans. Of a cat: make the screaming characteristic of a cat on heat. LME
A1(b) transferred. Make a discordant screaming noise. L16
A2 verb intrans. Be in heat; behave lasciviously; pursue the opposite sex. derogatory. archaic. M16
B noun. A screaming noise (as) of a cat during the mating season. E18
caterwauler noun (rare). E17
Ailurophiles love cats - I get that; they're willing to put up with their supposedly selfish, supercilious, egotistical and generally catty nature because ... well ... because they're ailurophiles. However, nothing sparks spite-filled ailurophobia quicker than a caterwauling queen advertising herself to the neighbourhood toms outside your bedroom window at night while you're trying to sleep. Once you've got over the initial shock of thinking someone's being murdered on your own doorstep (and being bally annoying as they go about it), you're left to contend with the most piercing, unnerving, ugly and downright infuriating sound in the whole animal kingdom. And do you know who I blame? The toms - if they'd just stop responding to the (drama) queens' discordant histrionics, this phenomenon would go away. But they don't. Because they're men. And men are idiots. Still, it has given us a witheringly caustic word to use if you don't like someone's singing - as in really don't like it, which, quite frankly, isn't worth it.
Do you get caterwauling queens outside your window?
If not, why not, and how can I get mine to come over to you at night?
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