Last week I wrote about funny sayings that families have.
Have you ever heard this one?
“Sorry” won’t feed the admiral’s pussycat.
Yeah, well, Google hasn’t heard of it either.
I remember hearing it in our home when I was a kid, though.
I have a feeling this family adage was once the punchline of a joke.
I have a feeling that it had something to do with an admiral’s cat that didn’t get fed and thus, met it’s demise.
I have a feeling that it means you can’t make everything right by just saying “sorry”.
But obviously, I don’t know for sure.
It hit me today,
that with both my parents now gone,
I have no way to find out.
Why didn’t I ever ask about the admiral’s pussycat?
A voice in the back of my mind says it may have come from a skit of some kind on the Danny Kaye Show — Danny Kaye was a comedian who had a weekly hour long variety show on TV….kind of like the Carol Burnett Show. In my google search I found the saying “sorry doesn’t feed the bulldog”, with the meaning described this way:
“In business, to “feed the bulldog” is to generate sufficient revenue to meet expenses. I don’t know much about bulldogs, but I’m willing to bet they get aggressive and insistently unhappy when not fed on a regular schedule. Overhead costs tend to be like that, too. The rent must be paid. The payroll must be met. Productive actions, not mere words, will feed the bulldog.”
I have never heard the bulldog saying. I could see some clever comedic writer tweaking this saying to fit a silly skit on the Danny Kaye Show. But in truth, it remains a mystery. Growing up, I always interpreted it as you did — that just saying sorry doesn’t always make things right again……..sometimes productive action, not mere words, is what’s needed.
Dinah, here is a reference to Feeding the Admiral’s pussycat.. A poem
How interesting! I don’t understand a word of it, though!
Maybe Grandpa found out the hard way, aboard a ship in the Pacific, that if he didn’t feed the admiral’s pussycat, there would be consequences that “sorry” couldn’t erase……… 😉
I just googled this because my mom used to say this! I bet it is from some show from the 50s.
How funny! Sure wish I knew the origin of this saying. But I’m glad someone else’s mother also used to say it! It means she didn’t make it up. Thanks for sharing!
My mom used to say that all the time. It never occurred to me to ask where it was from either. How frustrating. My parents are both long gone so if Google doesn’t know and you don’t know I guess I wont know.
It must have been a saying a lot of moms used back in the 1950s! Thanks for reading and leaving a comment!
We had a 7th and 8th Grade English who would use this saying every time some kid would say I am sorry … i.e., the dog ate my homework. It was said so many times we had the saying printed and framed for the teacher. I am surprised that Google can’t come up with the origin – I thought it was from a book. The mystery continues.
That’s a great story! Thanks for sharing!
Just saw this on an Odd Couple Episode and found your post looking for an older origin!
That’s so funny! Thanks for sending the link.