Cuirm lemm, lemlacht la catt.

Cuirm lemm, lemlacht la catt.

(beer * with me * fresh milk * with * cat)

I like beer the way a cat likes milk!

A proverbial phrase found in the laws, and quoted by Fergus Kelly in EIF in the section on cats. Keating gives a stanza in section six of “Foras Feasa ar Éirinn” that is similar, but associates the craving for milk with children, and cats with a liking for meat:

Mil la mnaoi, leamhnacht la mac,
Biadh la fial, carna la cat,
Saor istigh agus faobhar,
Aon la haon is ró-bhaoghal.

The prose preceding this stanza says “An saoilir gurab fhéidir bean agus mil do bheith i gcómhghar d’á chéile, leamhnacht agus leanbh, biadh agus fial, feoil agus cat, arm nó oirnéis agus saor, nó fear agus bean i n-uaigneas, gan cumasg ar a chéile dhóibh?” (Do you think that it’s possible for a woman and honey to be together, fresh milk and a child, food and a generous man, meat and a cat, tools and a craftsman, or a lonely man and woman, without them getting together?) Partholón’s wife ask this question of her husband, after she has slept with his servant while he was away from home. Her argument is that she is blameless, because it is the husband’s responsibility to protect his “property” from harm. In fact, she claims, she is the agrieved party for having been left unguarded!

Topics: Proverbial Sayings Drink Generosity