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Many people say that the meaning behind Judith Leyster’s 17th century painting, “A Boy and a Girl with a Cat and an Eel”, relates to a parable that translates as “He who plays with cats soon gets scratched”.

However, according to Wikipedia

“Other interpretations include allusions to other Dutch proverbs as well as the popular pastime in seventeenth century Dutch festivals or kermis of katknuppelen, the bludgeoning of cats.”

 

If anybody can further enlighten me as to this cat bludgeoning tradition, it would be appreciated.