Felis Catus (solution)

Felis Catus (solution)

back to puzzle

This puzzle relates to the use of Latin in the legal profession; "Felis catus" is the Latin scientific name of the housecat.

The flavortext means "every lawyercat knows Latin well, in order to be able to manage a case tail properly" (playing on the similarity of causa 'case' and cauda 'tail').

Each of these clues refers to a somewhat cat-oriented legal situation and indicates a Latin phrase that would be appropriate in this situation. (The clues are presented in alphabetical order by answer, although two clues contain spaces for two different Latin phrases; those clues is alphabetized only by their first answers, in flagrante delicto and pro se.)

  • Since Fluffy was less than 18 cat-years old, the court decided to appoint a guardian ad litem.
  • If the defendants are cats, they must, a fortiori, be chordate mammals!
  • The Court granted certiorari in Katz v. United States in 1967.
  • STANDARD OF REVIEW. We review allegations of hissing and scratching de novo. That is, we must consider them from scratch.
  • By a subpoena duces tecum, we ordered the party in interest to produce “all collars, leashes, microchips, shelter adoption certificates, etc., evincing ownership or actual control of said cat”.
  • The prosecution of our client for yowling back in 2019, when the prohibition on yowling was only enacted for the first time in 2020, was barred as ex post facto.
  • I would love to see what happens the first time that a court issues a writ of habeas corpus to a ghost! (or to the Cheshire Cat)
  • Pirate cats are absolutely adorable cartoon figures, although in principle under international law they are likely hostes humani generis (so not exactly man’s best friend!) if they engage in actual acts of shipping piracy.
  • It was looking pretty bad for the defendant (after all, he was seen by numerous witnesses in flagrante delicto actually in the act of eating the cat food), and ultimately his lawyercat advised him it was in his interest to plead nolo contendere.
  • I moved to proceed in forma pauperis, stating in my financial affidavit that I only had two bowls, a cat toy, and a flea collar to my name.
  • Since cats don’t have clearly established legal personality, a lawsuit against a cat would probably have to proceed in rem (hiss!).
  • The defendant didn’t know and couldn’t have known that the cat food belonged to someone else, and hence couldn’t properly form a mens rea in respect of its consumption.
  • While the judge did indeed write “meow meow meow meow meow” in a footnote to her opinion, this observation had no bearing on the substantive matter in controversy, and can be dismissed as obiter dicta.
  • The defendant allegedly promised the plaintiff “some cheese”, but in the absence of actual consideration or exchange of value, this court finds this promise unenforceable as a mere pactum nudum.
  • I think we can make out a prima facie case for defamation over the reference to our client as a “mangy mutt”.
  • A cat who represents himself (proceeding pro se or, as it’s also often known, in propria persona) has a fool for a client.
  • It seems like the lawyercat agreed to take the case under the inducement of receiving 4,000 cans of cat food—a clear quid pro quo!
  • The copyright trollcat tried to get the other court to re-examine the facts found by the first court in a case that was never challenged on appeal, but it refused to because they were res judicata.
  • I certainly hope the Court will reverse itself on the “legal personality for cats” issue, but the stare decisis argument is pretty strong here.

(The joke about habeas corpus is because it can literally mean "you should have a body!", the joke about in rem is because it refers to suing a cat as a "thing", which presumably would be offensive to the cat, and the joke about hostes humani generis is because it means that pirates are 'enemies of humanity'. Any other jokes, where present, are all in English!)

Transferring the indicated letters into the blanks at the bottom, we get the clue phrase


That is


This clue phrase was carefully chosen to produce something sort of reasonable in Google Translate, although it turns out that Google Translate's Latin translator is ① currently really bad and ② currently extremely sensitive to things like punctuation, and could easily have given something more garbled with minor alterations to the punctuation, spacing, or capitalization of the clue phrase.

In English, threatening to bring a lawsuit, you can say "I will see you IN COURT".