A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 10, 2018
“What kind of work does a weak cat do?"/"Light mouse work.”

Many classified ads state “light house work.” In 1950, several classified ads offering kittens stated that they do “light mouse work.”

A riddle has been cited in print since at least 1992:

Q: What kind of work does a weak cat do?
A: Light mouse work.



12 July 1950, Nashua (IA) Reporter, pg. 4, col. 1 classified ad:
CHARMING KITTEN with exquisite manners desires position as companion in a nice home where good food is served. More for home than wages. Will fancy purring and light mouse work. Phone 4581.

17 December 1950, The Tennessean (Nashville, TN), pg. 5-D, col. 4 classified ad:
KITTENS—Mother cat and kittens, want good home in exchange for light mouse work. 5-7353.

19 March 1958, Daily Defender (Chicago, IL), “Try and Stop Me” by Bennett Cerf, pg. 11, col. 3:
Mike Connolly is advertising for a cat who’s able to do a little light mouse work.

Google Books
102 Cat and Dog Jokes
By Michael Pellowski
Mahwah, NJ: Watermill Press
1992
Pg. 5:
What kind of work does a weak cat do?
Light mouse work.

Google Groups: soc.culture.malaysia
E-mail penpals request!! ......Dear Lily,
BohTeeNang
5/27/98
(...)
Q. What kind of work does a weak cat do?
A. Light mouse work. 

Google Groups: alt.humor.puns
Puns of the Weak: 02/08/02
Stan Kegel
2/8/02
(...)
What kind of work does a weak cat do?
Light mouse work (GR8 Humor)

Google Groups: alt.humor.puns
Kids Puns of the Weak 11-23-04
Stan Kegel
11/23/04
(...)
What is the only kind of work a weak cat can do?
Light mouse work (Rita)

Twitter
The Dreaming Dragon
@TheDragon__
Q: What kind of work does a weak cat do?
A: Light mouse work.
3:43 PM - 25 Sep 2007

Google Books
The Awesome Book of Cat Humor
By Bob Phillips
Eugene, OR: Harvest House Press
2009
Pg. 28:
Q: What kind of work does a weak cat do?
A: Light mouse work.

Twitter
lorraine Jo King
@LahLahBean
#wednesdaywit
Q: What kind of work does a weak cat do? -A: Light mouse work.
10:07 AM - 11 Jul 2018

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Tuesday, July 10, 2018 • Permalink