Sure, we've all heard the famous expression, but does anyone really know where this silly saying got its start? Wendy and the team have hit the books and have come up with a few possible answers to this cat and canine conundrum. From the interesting, to the silly, to the strange and even grotesque, the origins of this popular phrase will definitely make you feel glad that you brought your umbrella!
Explanation 1: The Medieval Slip and Slide
The most common theory suggests that in old England during the middle ages, cats and dogs would sleep on the hay roofs of their owners. During rainstorms they would slide down the wet hay. Another similar theory suggests that stray animals would hide in hay roofs at night to keep warm, and during heavy rainstorms the roofs' poor construction would lead to the animals falling through into the houses.
Explanation 2: Luxurious Linguistics
The archaic French word, "catdoupe" is a waterfall or cataract and could potentially be mistaken for 'cat/dog' by English speaking foreigners.
Explanation 3: The Big Kennel in the Sky
Some simply shrug and say that lightning and thunder sounds sort of like a cat and dog fighting
Explanation 4: Holy Hound Dog!
Another theory suggests that this phrase could have stemmed from the Norse Mythology. Cats were believed to represent the wind and dogs represented rain. Different animals represented different weather and natural phenomenon. Wolves according to Norse Mythology attended to the sky dog Odin.
Explanation 5: And you Thought Cleaning out the Litter Box was Bad!
Long before plumbing, when people's cats and dogs died they would simply throw them into the gutter or alley with the garbage. If a strong enough rain came through it would flood the gutters and alleys to the point where all the dead cats and dogs would begin to float down the streets. Therefore very harsh rains were associated with cats and dogs.
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