Could someone explain the meaning of the phrase "I like the way your belly matches your paws" to me? It is used in a feline context. One such usage appears in:

she had these two cats, you know. And I think the cats were gay, 'cause they're always licking each other and spooning in the window and criticizing the way I dress.


I don't think it's a biological thing, like they're gay by birth. I think it's an environment thing, like they're prison gay. Like they don't see any female cats ever. And after awhile, it's just like, "Look, Tony.


We ain't getting any younger, buddy. This might be the catnip talking, but I like the way your belly matches your paws."

I don't see how the cat belly matches the paws, except maybe the fur color. Is this a compliment or does it carry a derogatory connotation?

  • @Mari-LouA Thanks for adding the text here - which is what I should have done. I missed the context (and perhaps earlier, deleted comments) - why paste an image when you can just paste the text?
    – flow2k
    Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 9:44
  • 1
    The image upload could be a bug, see here
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 12:54
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because explaining jokes is too opinion based.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 14:32

2 Answers 2


This is not a fixed idiom, but the comedian's invention.

You have understood the literal sense of the line correctly: the speaking cat admires the fact that the other cat's paws and belly are the same color.

The joke (such as it is) lies in the context. The comedian is talking about these two indoor cats as "prison gays", environmentally driven to homosexuality. An enduring stereotype about homosexual men is that they are especially discerning in matters of fashionable dress. Consequently the speaking cat's expression of admiration for the other cat's ensemble is an indirect but transparent announcement of his homosexual attraction.


  • Interestingly, I found that a cat's belly has white/light-colored fur that's sometimes distinctively different from the fur on the paws and the back...so perhaps "I like the way your back matches your paws" is more accurate metaphorically.
    – flow2k
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 0:52

I'd add that the formulation is probably influenced by the crude cliche "the carpet matches the drapes," alluding to a woman whose hairdo (which hangs long like window draperies) has not been dyed, and so is the same color as her pubic hair (which is short and low like a carpet).

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