The word of the day came in my email inbox and I thought, how apropos
“kilkenny cats (kil-KEN-ee kats) noun
People who fight relentlessly till their end.
[From a pair of proverbial cats in Kilkenny who fought till only their tails
According to a story, some people in the town of Kilkenny in Ireland enjoyed tying the tails of two cats and watching them fight till only their tales were left behind. Most likely the story is a parable of a contest between Kilkenny and Irishtown, two municipalities which fought about their boundaries till little more than their tails were left. Here is a popular limerick (another word that takes its origins from the name of an Irish town) about the cats:
“There wanst was two cats of Kilkenny
Each cat thought there was one cat too many
So they fought and they fit
And they scratched and they bit
‘Til instead of two cats there weren’t any.”
“When Lord Cranborne placed Hatfield House at the disposal of Unionists
to talk things through in November 1997, the result was a meeting after
the style of the fighting Kilkenny cats.”
A Man of Parts, The Economist (London), Apr 15, 2000. ”
Well, there you go.