If someone tells you that you look like the cat that got the cream, what do they mean?
Introduction: 'To look like the cat that got the cream' means to look very satisfied because of something that has just happened. It can be either something that you've done yourself or something that has just happened to your advantage. If you 'look like the cat that got the cream', you have a smug expression on your face... and people will notice and wonder why.
Beth: Hi, Paul. Wow... you look like the cat that got the cream this morning! What's happened?
Paul: I'm glad you noticed! Yes, I feel very pleased with myself today. I guess it shows!
Beth: It most certainly does! You’re smiling from ear to ear and your eyes are sparkling! Come on and spill the beans. What's happened?
Paul: Well, you remember that my grandma bought me an expensive digital camera for my eighteenth birthday a couple of years ago? It was a real surprise because I wasn't at all interested in photography. I never even used the camera on my phone. She hadn't asked me what I wanted for my eighteenth, and just presented me with this camera. I took one look at the complicated user manual, and put it back in the box. It looked like hard work and I wasn't remotely interested.
Beth: Is the camera still just sitting in its box? You should sell it.
Paul: Well, that’s the thing. About six months ago, my girlfriend bought herself a camera, and one Saturday she dragged me off on a hike to take some pics. I didn't bring my camera with me, but watching her and looking at the photos she took, got me interested. She learned how to use her camera quite quickly and she pushed me to start using mine.
Beth: So, you’ve started taking photographs?
Paul: I have indeed. And guess what? Last month I entered one of my photos in a newspaper competition. It was a view of the harbour at night. Anyway, I got an email yesterday saying I'd won first prize. That's why I'm looking pleased with myself. First prize in a photo competition! Can you believe that!
Pete: Good morning, Claire. My goodness, you look pleased with yourself! You look like the cat that got the cream. What's happened? Has the boss given you a promotion?
Claire: No such luck, Pete – I think you’re more likely to get one. But I did get a piece of news this morning that made my day.
Pete: Go on. Tell me more. I'm all ears.
Claire: You know how upset I was a couple of weeks ago, when I didn't get that apartment that I wanted. I was sure that the landlord thought I was a perfect tenant. I met him a couple of times at the flat and we got on so well. He said he wanted someone professional to rent the flat. He really made me believe the flat was mine. I loved that place the moment I walked in.
Pete: Yes, you told me you’d found a great apartment.
Claire: The rooms were a good size and the balcony was brilliant. It had a great view over the harbour. I just pictured myself on a Sunday morning sitting there with a cup of coffee and the Sunday newspaper. The monthly rent was a bit more than I had budgeted for, but with a bit of cost cutting, I could have managed it. I was staggered when he rang me to say he'd decided not to rent to me. I had fallen in love with the place and really wanted it. But there was nothing I could do about it. It wasn't to be. But I really was upset.
Pete: I’m sorry you didn’t get the flat.
Claire: Well wait for it! Imagine my surprise when the landlord rang me this morning to say I could have the flat if I still wanted it. I was dumbfounded. I didn't ask any questions about why he had changed his mind. I'm so happy! I'm going round to the flat straight after work tonight to sign all the paper work. I can move in in a couple of weeks. How's that for good luck? I'm on cloud nine!