Friday, April 3, 2009

Oops...Spoke too soon

Remember my post on "Dog days are here"? Well, I thought that the rains have gone away but Mother Nature decided otherwise. Right after my post, we had thunderstorms with the full works - roaring thunder and spears of lightning piercing the dark skies.

Now, I don't know about you, but I am a scaredy dog when it comes to thunderstorms. But, I put up a brave front this time round - all in the name of research. If you've been following my blog, you will know that I have started a "Dog Series" this year where I would post on words and phrases that contains the word "Dog" or as in Mama's last post, the word "Puppy". Now, generally, I do most of my research on the good ol' internet, but for this particular "Dog" post, I needed to do physcial research, just like a real scientist. So, each time we had a thunderstorm, which Mother Nature happily obliged over the last week or so, I would rush to the door and start observing real intensely.
I looked, and looked real closely but all I saw was big fat drops of water falling down and turning our garden into pools of mud.

Not a drop of dog or cat in sight! Bah, much for the phrase "Raining cats and dogs". There wasn't even a tail of a kitten or a puppy to be seen! All there was was water, water everywhere, and not a dog in sight! So, what is the origin of this phrase "Raining cats and dogs" (which by the way means raining very heavily)? Well, it's time to go back to internet research. The phrase's origin is unknown, although several theories abound. I'll leave it to you to be the judge on how likely these are:

1)Back in old London, when they had straw roofs, cats and dogs would hide in the roofs when it rained. Because it was slippery, some poor unfortunate cat or dog or both would slip and fall through the flimsy roof! (Hmm...I'm trying to imagine if my beagle ancestor would have actually climbed up a roof....)

2)There is a myth that dogs and wolves were attendants to Odin, the god of storms, and sailors associated them with rain. Witches, who often took the form of cats, are supposed to have ridden the wind. (OK, double pinch of salt required here)

3)This last one is pretty gross. Back in old England again, people supposedly threw dead dogs and cats in the gutter or the alleyway. When a strong rain comes and floods the alleyways, these carcasses would be floating down the streets of England (Yuckity Yuck!)

If you ask me, the English language is full of strange idioms and phrases, many without rhyme or reason! Perhaps, that's what makes it so interesting. The next time it rains at your place, do take a peek out of your window to see if you see any cats and dogs raining down on you. And if you do see this strange phenomenon, be sure to drop me a note!


NAK and The Residents of The Khottage said...

Tank woo fur the furry khool post!

Nice stuff to learn AND some khool pikhs too!


Dughallmor Beagles said...

Hahaha....if there was food in the roof our ancestors would DEFINITELY have climbed up! Though sadly I think number three is the most likely explanation.....London has some pretty grotty history as most British cities do!
How brave you are Kess to sit at the door during the storm....we'd probably be hiding in the bathroom!
But our Mum LOVES a good thunder storm, we don't see many in this neck of the woods and we're easily pleased us Scots!
Slobbers xx

Scottie the 'Cutie' said...

That is quite a funny (and gross at some teeny parts) post! I don't think I'll ever look at heavy rain the same way again...*wink*

Hope you have a great weekend!


Erin said...

What a fun fact about that phrase! how funny!

Lorenza said...

Hi, Kess!
Very interesting research!
Next time it rains here I will be looking at the roofs to see if cats and dogs fall from it!
Kisses and hugs

Anonymous said...

Oh my. I thought maybe the raindrops were so big they seemed to be in the shape of cats or dogs. Very interesting post!

See ya!

Martha said...

Hi Kess
Thank you for sharing that important informations.
We are very scared of thunder storms but liked seeing your pictures. Especially the one of the dark and angry sky!!
You are very brave......
Have a nice weekend.
Martha & Bailey xx

Gennasus said...

Number three does seem the most likely explanation. Of course, London's drainage has improved somewhat since then!

I am so impressed by that lightening shot - wish I could catch one like it!

Molly the Airedale said...

What a cool post, Kess!
I don't like thunder storms either and we had one last night! I huddled near mom till it passed! Mitch slept through the whole thing!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch


Well, if it ever rains cats & dogs here, we will make sure not to step into any poodles. BOL.

Essex & Deacon

Agatha and Archie said...

We don't care for thunder AT ALL...Thank you for such an informative post!! Love A+A

i said...

I hate thunderstorms too! This is a great post!

Cinnamon and Mint said...

Hi Kess and her mama,

Thank you for your comment on our blog the other day. As you said, it's always great to meet fellow beagle lovers!

I was thinking "cats and dogs" came from the sound, although I had never done research on it. Now I know there are more than one explanations. Very interesting!

Asta said...

Hello Kess
It was so nice to heaw fwom you!
I'm glad you and youw Momma liked the cawd I sent . We thought evewyone who helped should be acknowledged and thanked and have a wemembewance of it.

I wish puppies would come flying out of the sky when it wains, ow catses even..I think that would be gweat. Wecould have a big pawty and play. That was excellent weseawch. I hope it didn't make you scawed
smoochie kisses

Thor and Jack said...

That post is cool! Thanks for sharing those interesting facts.
When it is raining, I will see if there is any dog or cat falling from the roof.
Happy Easter!


Kathryn and Ari said...

Yikes! The next time it rains here, we are absolutely running for cover (and as far away from our roof as we can get!).

Martha said...

Hi Kess
Just stopped by to wish you and your mom a very Happy Easter.
love and kisses
Martha & Bailey xx

Thanks for signing my guest book.