cat's paw (cats paw) noun
1. Someone used as a tool by another.
2. A kind of knot used to connect a rope to an object.
3. A breeze that ruffles the surface of the water over a small area.
[The first sense of the term comes from the fable in which a monkey uses
a cat to pull roasting chestnuts from a fire. The monkey gobbles up all
the nuts while the cat is left with a burnt paw. See Edwin Landseer's
1824 painting Cat's Paw: http://museumsyndicate.com/item.php?item=2992
The second sense refers to the supposed resemblance of such a knot to
a cat's paw: http://images.google.com/images?q=cat's+paw+knot
The origin of the third sense is unknown.]