The cat faces a changeable relationship to the people in the stream of human history. Was it as graceful creature in ancient Egypt still revered and worshipped, so in the European Middle Ages she was degraded and become a useful servant for the Pest control convened. Logically, therefore, the animals could not expect feasts from their owners, but the otherwise so gifted hunter would lose her greatest use for man. One wanted the So keep cats hungry. It was better for business. If the four-legged friends did get something, then it was at most something that was no one wanted more. This is probably where the symbol of futility comes from. Promising has failed and is now good for nothing, so it was for the cat.Another explanatory approach deals with the story `The blacksmith and the cat`by the German fable writer Burkard Waldis. According to her, the bona fide blacksmith his Customers each itself selecthow much they have paid him for the work he has done. berappen would like. As people are, none of his customers thought it necessary to pay the blacksmith a single penny, even though he always did a very good job. Instead, his creditors merely thanked him and ran away. The craftsman felt more and more betrayed and became angrier from time to time, because he was constantly work for free had to. One day, he took an old fat cat, tied it up in his workshop, and grinned to the cat at every abspeisierenden "thank you" from the customers: "Katz, I'll give you that." However, as cats are not known to live on empty words, she vegetated until she finally starved.
So today, if something has been in vain or for nothing, one also says "It's all for naught."