After searching for the origin for “No room to swing a cat” for our A Cat Vs A Whip post, I was intrigued by the Cat O Nine Tails and so I decided to check it out.

A Whip For Punishments

The cat o’ nine tails, commonly shortened to the cat, is a type of multi-tailed whip that originated as an implement for severe physical punishment, notably in the Royal Navy and Army of the United Kingdom, and also as a judicial punishment in Britain and some other countries.

The term first appears in 1695, although the design is much older. It was probably so called in reference to its “claws”, which inflict parallel wounds.

Here are some historical punishments using the cat:

  • Naval types and use
  • Naval punishments
  • Napoleonic wars period
  • Boys’ punishment
  • Flogging round the fleet
  • British army
  • Prison usage
  • Penal colonies in Australia

Judicial corporal punishment was removed from the statute book in Great Britain in 1948. The cat was still being used in Australia in 1957 and is still in use in a few Commonwealth countries, although the cane is used in more countries.

Read more in details at’_nine_tails

A Novel

“Cat o’ nine tails” is used for the name of a book written by Julia Golding, in the Cat Royal series. Since the novel is set on a ship, this could reference the use of the cat o’nine tails as a tool of punishment on naval ships.

In this story the protagonist, Cat (Catherine Royal), dances at a ball, dresses as a boy, and meets an Indian tribe.

Read more in details at’Nine_Tails_(novel)

One is a whip and the other is a girl by the name of Catherine, it seems that both has no relation with an actual cat…

An angry cat: I am not a peacock, I don’t need nine tails!!!

A defensive (but proud) peacock: Hey, don’t drag me into this mess of yours.

Have fun reading!

Cheers & TTFN~

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