Mentor speaks at least three languages fluently, and English is not her mother tongue. She has no accent, which means her accent is close enough to my own that I don’t hear one.

Y’all know I’m language friendly, and I like fun with language. Mentor and I communicate very well with one another, but now and again when she twists a turn of phrase, I cannot find her meaning.

For instance, yesterday.

She sent me a message, basically, Please call to determine the status of Jane Doe’s paperwork. See if we can pick it up. She is having kittens.

I replied, Sure.

I must have read that sentence three times. “She is having kittens.”

awww. why is she telling me this?!?


Mentor and I share relevant information. By this I mean we don’t talk about extraneous stuff. Whatever we tell one another includes specific directives, inquiries — you know, like Cut The Crap and Just The Facts Ma’am.
Now, I knew Mentor didn’t mean it literally, but I knew it had to be important, or relevant, otherwise, she wouldn’t mention it. Our business decidedly does not deal with kittens. There are no kitten conundrums to solve, no kittens to consult with, no kittens to ship. I love kittens, but that’s not what we do there.

This bit of information was a bit like your pharmacist saying, “Take these three times a day and with plenty of water,” and then adding, “The new moon is April 7th.”


The relevance of the kittens did not fit the directive and I am too curious to let kittens lie.


I called to determine the status of Jane Doe’s paperwork. I called Mentor with the results of my call. After that, I asked her, “What did you mean, she’s having kittens? Like, is her cat birthing today?”
“Nooo. Did I not use it right?”
“I guess not. What does that mean to you?”
“She’s upset.”


think, think, think…


“She’s having a cow?”

Then there was howling laughter on both ends of the phone. I laughed so hard I cried.

I’m so glad she gave the update to Jane Doe, because me being me, I would’ve thoughtfully added, “By the by, Congratulations on your kittens! How sweet!”

Happy Friday Everyone! I hope nothing makes you have kittens this weekend!

About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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64 Responses to Kittens?

  1. Prajakta says:

    Those kitten images kept distracting me from reading the hilarious exchange 😀 😀 I still think you should call her to congratulate for her kittens!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ally Bean says:

    My mother used to say “having kittens” like that, meaning the same thing as you figured out. I’d forgotten about that turn of phrase because everyone now has a cow, thank you very much Bart Simpson.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. meANXIETYme says:

    I’m with Ally. I know the phrase “having kittens” so I was kind of confused as to why you were confused. I kept waiting for the weird revelation that never actually came… HA.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. baldjake70 says:

    It basically means throwing a hissy fit.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. jan says:

    Many thanks! I’ve had enough kitties this week!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Benson says:

    Aww when I read your title I thought little Joey was gonna’ be the Mama to a bunch of kittens. I have heard that expression for many years,and I know it means somebody is upset or angry about something. Now I am curious about where it came from. Hope you and yours have a Happy Friday.

    Liked by 2 people

    • joey says:

      That nixes regional…
      The Mister said it’s because kittens hiss, and so it’s like a hissy fit. He didn’t remember this last night when I told him the story, but now, maybe it’s doubly funny?
      Thank you — you enjoy your weekend too! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  7. ghostmmnc says:

    That is funny! We’ve always said having kittens, too, meaning being upset, or having a fit, as in having a conniption fit.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Dan Antion says:

    I am only fluent in English, the version of English they speak in New England, the version they speak in New York and the version they speak in Pittsburgh. I would recognize “having kittens” as a serious thing, but I’m not sure where I picked that up.

    Then again, with all those images of cute little kittens, I can’t imagine how that started. Unless someone started it when her cat was having 8-12 kittens.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Norm 2.0 says:

    Okay the first thing I thought was that you were working in a veterinary clinic, then I thought maybe she meant conniptions….
    Honey does this at home with English expressions all the time and I do it just as often in French. It’s a great way to keep each other on our toes and thoroughly entertained 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I think I’m going to start my own phrases now. How about having weasels?

    Liked by 2 people

  11. John Holton says:

    I’ve heard “having kittens” before, but “having a cow” is a little sillier.

    As for the kitten pictures: awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. DanicaPiche says:

    Too funny! Thanks for the laugh, Joey! We should incorporate this expression into modern language.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. loisajay says:

    This was funny! Having a cow? yes. Having kittens? No. But if you have some we might could sneak one in the house w/o husband noticing. You think? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Luanne says:

    Mentor was ri-ight. “Having kittens
    If you’re having kittens, you’re freaking out in an uncontrollable manner. The phrase dates back to more superstitious times when witches were viewed as a genuine threat to society. It was said that witches could place a spell on a pregnant woman by turning her unborn baby into kittens that would scratch at the womb. Many women suffering from perfectly normal pregnancy pains believed that they had fallen victim to a spell. As time went by and people began believing in science over witchcraft, the irrational fear died, but the expression survived.” That is from this wonderful website:
    But having kittens sounded right to me, so I think I’ve heard people use it. Maybe even my family? (who are not Brits)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hihihhh. This is all sorts of hilarious to me, since I barely know this one, and only through the Simpsons, and would never know how to use it in a sentence. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Joanne Sisco says:

    Add me to the list of people who would have totally understood “she was having kittens”. That expression is pretty old. Another one I remember from my youth is “having a bird”. I guess I was never indoctrinated into the Simpson’s phenomenon because I would never say “having a cow”.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. To add to the other comments – I too am very familiar with the phrase “having kittens”, here in England we still say it pretty commonly. I’ve not actually heard of having a cow! Funny post though, I can imagine the confusion!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I think idioms can make learning and understanding English challenging for anyone. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Judy Martin says:

    WE use that expression over here, My mum still says it quite often 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Laura says:

    Bwahahahaha!!! omg, that is FABULOUS!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. April says:

    I think I would rather have kittens that a cow. Ouch.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Anxious Mom says:

    That made me laugh so hard! I can only imagine the other person’s response if you had congratulated her on the kittens. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Yep, we grew up with ‘having kittens,’ it seems really strange when you think about it. I thinks it’s an English phrase that Aussies picked up. I’m going to throw it into conversations today to see if anyone else is confused.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I love hearing new sayings or regional styles of speaking. My husband was most amused by my “fixing to”, which is a decidedly southern thing. I, however, had never heard the term “y’all” until we traveled to Alabama when I was a kid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Funny 🙂 I rarely fix to these days, but I say y’all — pretty much everyone says that here.

      My father used to make fun of my mother for fixin to do the tradin. My husband’s granddad still does the tradin 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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