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"We are all mad here. . ."

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Cheshire Cat
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Species Tabby British Shorthair Cat
Gender Male (the Queen of Hearts cries "off with his head" when the cat upsets the king)
Quote "Most everyone's mad here" "You may have noticed that I'm not all there myself"

The Cheshire Cat is a fictional cat popularised by Lewis Carroll in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and known for its distinctive mischievous grin. While most often celebrated in Alice-related contexts, the Cheshire Cat predates the 1865 novel and has transcended the context of literature and become enmeshed in popular culture. One of its distinguishing features is that from time to time its body disappears, the last thing visible being its iconic grin.

Origins
There are numerous theories about the origins of the phrase "grinning like a Cheshire Cat" in English history.

A possible origin of the phrase is one favoured by the people of Cheshire, a county in England which boasts numerous dairy farms; hence the cats grin because of the abundance of milk and cream.
According to Brewer's Dictionary, "The phrase has never been satisfactorily accounted for, but it has been said that cheese was formerly sold in Cheshire moulded like a cat that looked as though it was grinning". The cheese was cut from the tail end, so that the last part eaten was the head of the smiling cat.
In 1853, Samuel Maunder offered this explanation:
This phrase owes its origin to the unhappy attempts of a sign painter of that country to represent a lion rampant, which was the crest of an influential family, on the sign-boards of many of the inns. The resemblance of these lions to cats caused them to be generally called by the more ignoble name.

The first known appearance of the expression in literature is in the 18th century, in Grose, Francis (1788). A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. London, England, which contains the following entry:
Cheshire cat. He grins like a Cheshire cat; said of any one who shows his teeth and gums in laughing.

The phrase appears again in print in John Wolcot's pseudonymous Peter Pindar's Pair of Lyric Epistles (1792): "Lo, like a Cheshire cat our court will grin."

The phrase also appears in print in William Makepeace Thackeray's novel The Newcomes (1855): That woman grins like a Cheshire cat.


Lewis Carroll's character
The Cheshire Cat is now largely identified with the character of the same name in Lewis Carroll's novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Alice first encounters the Cheshire Cat at the Duchess's house in her kitchen, and later on the branches of a tree, where it appears and disappears at will, and engages Alice in amusing but sometimes perplexing conversation. The cat sometimes raises philosophical points that annoy or baffle Alice; but appears to cheer her when it appears suddenly at the Queen of Hearts' croquet field; and when sentenced to death, baffles everyone by having made its head appear without its body, sparking a debate between the executioner and the King and Queen of Hearts about whether a disembodied head can indeed be beheaded. At one point, the cat disappears gradually until nothing is left but its grin, prompting Alice to remark that "she has often seen a cat without a grin but never a grin without a cat".

In the 1951 Disney animated film, Alice in Wonderland, the Cheshire Cat is depicted as an intelligent and mischievous character that sometimes helps Alice and sometimes gets her into trouble. He frequently sings the first verse of the Jabberwocky poem.
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brightspark

hi dear friends - you are invited to a disco party tonight xx @brightspark ☺☺☺

brightspark

trish we love them to pieces but so happy when they go home ♥☺♥

brightspark

wow this was so much fun xxx great minds think alike - look what i posted on @sparklightie tonight

Trish237

'We're all mad here" ... love it! Child free at last Grandmapegs so trying to catch up on your puzzles, some beauties there beckoning me :)

MomCat2000

What a lot of fun images to look at! Thanks!

webpeggy

More and more grinning fun!

dotshell

I've always loved the Cheshire Cat in Carroll's Wonderland, and now you are giving us several puzzles. What fun! I did have a small question before I opened the puzzle about it being so dark, but when I was doing it, the colors were very rich. Thanks! Dotty

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