posted on Nov, 1 2004 @ 08:46 PM
Etymology of feline expressions, easy read version:
"Cats certainly are not cowards, but they are definitely smart enough to scamper away (often up the nearest tree) when a larger enemy threatens them.
Hence the terms fraidy cat and scaredy-cat!"
You can see about curiosity killing the cat, nine lives, and the cat getting your tongue as well.
Or scariness in general:
c.1200, from O.N. skirra "to frighten," related to skjarr "timid, shy," of unknown origin. The noun is attested from 1530. To scare up "procure,
obtain" is first recorded 1846, Amer.Eng., from notion of rousing game from cover. Scarecrow first recorded 1553, earliest ref. is to a person
employed to scare birds. Stick-figure sense is implied by 1589. Scary is first recorded 1582; scaremonger is from 1888. To scare up "find, produce"
is 1853, from the notion of hunters rousing game Scared stiff first recorded 1900; scared #less is from 1936. Scaredy-cat "timid person" first
attested 1933, in Dorothy Parker.