Paw, Paw, Tail, Tail


A few years ago, at my theatre, the players/performers had this code phrase and action that was just down right silly. It all started because one of the players got cast in the musical “CATs” produced by one of our local theatres SPARC. The phrase was “paw, paw, tail, tail”, and the action that went along was just as you might suspect. While saying paw, paw – paw your right hand like a cat; then while saying tail, tail – swing your hip forward to show your tail. This was the teasing game that continued all summer.

Each week at our practice Matthew would be asked to show what new “dance moves” he learned, or ask “what’s it like being a pussy”. Oh, the players were terribly funny and witty with their teasing and play. Matthew took it all in stride, kept a great positive attitude, and laughed along with them. He would use the “paw, paw, tail, tail” moves in scenes, and make us all laugh out loud. He would just throw in a paw, paw, tail, tail randomly during practice to see if we were watching. If he was going to get teased, he was going to make it work to his advantage. And it worked! We all went to see him in the show. Since he embraced the teasing and torment from his peers, he turned everyone into a fan. We all wanted to see the show and see how he danced and acted “cat like”.

The show was fantastic, and we all enjoyed watching Matthew perform. Though, I’m not sure if Matthew had more fun. Towards the end of intermission the “cats” start coming on the stage and playing like cats do; jumping on this and that, poking into this window, and out of that nook. And just as the cats are supposed to clear the stage we saw Matthew see us, and with a twinkle in his eye, gave a quick “paw, paw, tail, tail” before running off the stage. It was a great LOL moment for us all. Just thinking about it makes me laugh all over again.

This morning, I remembered the silly little “paw, paw, tail, tail”, and instantly it brought a smile followed by a teeheehee, which soon became a full aha haha moment.

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