play (a game of) cat and mouseidiom
Definition of play (a game of) cat and mouse
: to engage in behavior that is like the way a cat chases a mouse or plays with a mouse before killing it —used especially to describe behavior in which someone says or does different things to deceive or control other people, to avoid being caught, etc. The governor has been playing (a game of) cat and mouse with the media, refusing to say definitely whether he will run for reelection.
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