A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. She receives creative input from the Real Cats and clerical assistance from She of Little Talent (old SoLT, a.k.a. Roby Sweet). Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to old SoLt (Ms. Sweet). Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Words with Webster: Cat Squirrel, Plus Friendly Fill-Ins

We have two fun Friday features for you today. First up is Real Cat Webster, who has a squirrely word to share. After that, it’s on to Friendly Fill-Ins!

Words with Webster

Words with WebsterHi, everybody! It’s me, Real Cat Webster. Welcome to Words with Me. Today’s word is “cat squirrel.” Mommy found this word in the dictionary while she was looking up something else. We never heard of it before that, so we thought it would be a fun word to share. A cat squirrel, according to both Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary, is a common squirrel or an American gray squirrel. Merriam-Webster’s also lists the eastern fox squirrel as a definition.

Cat squirrel, fox squirrel.... Sometimes I wish people would just get their animal names straight, you know?

Anyway, people have been calling one or more kinds of squirrels “cat squirrels” since at least the 19th century. The term first appeared in print in 1826. This quote is from 1855:
The species found in these woods was the large ‘cat-squirrel’ (Sciurus cinereus), one of the noblest of its kind. (M. Reid, Hunters’ Feast xix)
I have promised before to do the word “cat” one day in a post all its own, so I won’t cover it today. “Squirrel” has been around since the early 14th century, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary. It comes from Old French escurueil (“squirrel”), which is from the Latin sciurus and Greek skiouros, and that is a combination of skia (“shadow”) and oura (“tail”). Squirrels create shadows with their tails, I guess.

Aside from their frizzy tails, I don’t think squirrels look a whole lot like cats, so I’m not sure why people called them that. But people are often confused by animals, aren’t they?

Delmarva Fox Squirrel. Photo by US Fish & Wildlife Service. Public Domain.
Does this look like a cat to you? It is a Delmarva fox squirrel.
Apparently, some people call these and other squirrels "cat squirrels."
Photo by US Fish & Wildlife Service, Northeast Region. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Friendly Fill-Ins

Friendly Fill-Ins
And now it’s time for Friendly Fill-Ins, from 15andmeowing and McGuffy’s Reader. They are a fun way to learn a little bit about the authors of the blogs you read. The first two questions, answered by old SoLT this week, are from Ellen of 15andmeowing, and the next two, answered by Real Cat Paisley, are from Annie of McGuffy’s Reader.

Real Cat Paisley’s answers:
1. Mommy keeps me pretty happy most of the time, although sometimes she could pick out better wet food.

2. Having a full belly and a person’s lap to nap on is the secret to happiness if you’re a cat. If you’re a person, I don’t know what you do. Have a cat sit on your lap, maybe.

Old SoLT’s answers:
3. A friend takes you as you are instead of trying to change or improve you.

4. Right now, I am thankful that spring finally seems to be here. Yay!


  1. How interesting - we've never heard dat one!

  2. Cat squirrels - people have to call the fire department to put them up in trees when they cry because they're on the ground and scared.

  3. I had never heard that term either. I don't think they look like cats at all, to me, they are rats in fur coats. Thank you for these great fill-in answers from you both. I am glad you enjoy a lap nap Paisley. And yes, Spring is finally here- yay! Have a nice weekend! XO

  4. dood !!!! wavez two ewe on this flounder fry day.....we canna say az tho we haz
    ever hurd oh cat squirrel...cat fish ....indeed...but vizshuz squirrel...noe.... !!
    hope ewe N paisley N joy de week oh end ~~ ☺☺♥♥

  5. We never heard of cat squirrel ! Great answers ! Purrs

  6. I've never heard the cat squirrel term before. But I understand all the species confusion ... after all, I'm a cat named BEAR! ~Bear Cat

  7. oh no, you said it...and now Winter is gonna come back again!

  8. I've never heard that term either! I adore squirrels. Your answers are purrfect, Paisley. And we're getting 2-5 inches of snow tomorrow :(

  9. No wonder dogs are always going after squirrels; cos they're CATS too. We have a winter advisory for Sunday/Monday but did have Spring visit for today.

  10. I'm glad you're finally getting spring. :)

    I think the cat squirrel information was interesting. I've never heard of a cat squirrel before. I don't think they look like cats at all, but they are cute critters.

    Having a kitty around to pet makes me happy, too.

    Have a blessed weekend.

  11. We are still waiting on spring. We usually don't get cold weather. We got it this year. Have a great week.

  12. What?? You've got spring there? Please send it our way....stat! We're getting desperate up here!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets