Scat, cat!

The Grand Miss Haisley, our exuberant two-year-old granddaughter, has learned to say “Bless you” after a sneeze. Whether the sneeze originates with herself or someone else, Haisley blesses all concerned.

bless youAfter she blessed herself during a recent visit, I replied, “Scat, cat!”

Haisley looked at me askance and said, “Pops, there’s no cat here.”

(I lobbied to be called “Superman but was overruled. Yet and still, I’ve grown to love the sound of “Pops” in her lilting voice).

I tried to explain “Scat, cat” was an acceptable, Southern substitute for “Bless you.” However, she remained unconvinced.

Out of curiosity, I explored the Internet, the source of all certifiable knowledge, for the origins of the curious phrase. Several authorities confirmed that saying “Scat, cat” was a Southern thing, but none could agree on the phrase’s origin.

According to one superstitious belief, sneezing somehow makes one vulnerable to evil spirits. Therefore, a “Gesundheit” or “Bless you” serves as a preventative exorcism. Maybe “Scat, cat” serves the same function.

Regardless, I have performed many benedictions and blessings during my years as an ordained pastor. None surpasses the “Bless you” that my granddaughter casually dispenses.

2 thoughts on “Scat, cat!

  1. First of all, your granddaughter sounds adorable & not one to be easily fooled! LOL I know she brings you much joy!
    Second, I think the phrase “scat cat” probably originated because there are people highly allergic to cats & being around them causes them to sneeze. Thus after sneezing, whether a cat was seen or not, they started saying “scat cat!!!” to rid the area of the possibly of one being around..

    Like

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