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or cats′paw`,

1. a person who is exploited by another; tool.
2. a light breeze that ruffles the surface of the water over a small area.
3. a hitch made in the bight of a rope to hold the hook of a tackle.
[1650–60; definition 1 so called in allusion to the story of the monkey that used a cat's paw to pull chestnuts from the fire]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
"Norman of Torn," he said, "so long as thou remain in England, pitting thy great host against the Plantagenet King and the nobles and barons of his realm, thou be but serving as the cats-paw of another.