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Old 02-15-2012, 11:44 AM   #1
mr ploppy
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Need help with an apostrophe

One time there had been four of them, all stood directly under his window, their high-pitched shrieks, moans and wails sounding like a cats orgy.

Should it be cats, cat's or cats' ?
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:19 PM   #2
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I say no apostrophe and no plural: "...sounding like a cat orgy."

But I'm not sure.
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:53 PM   #3
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IMO, since you said "a cat," singular, the correct possessive form is cat's. If you had said, "several cats" then the form would be cats'. Or rearrange to more clearly say what you probably mean, "an orgy of cats."
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:00 PM   #4
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Obligatory link to Bob the Angry Flower's Quick Guide to the Apostrophe, You Idiots!

Since there are four presumably people under the window and an orgy is a multi-participant thing, "cats' orgy" sounds about right (unless it's one cat getting involved in an orgy).

But it looks like awkward phrasing and a less-directly-possessive way of putting it might work out better.
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:17 PM   #5
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Well there would need to be at least 3 cats for an orgy. It's to describe the sound they make when they're shagging. Not sure if you've ever heard cats shagging, but they're not exactly quiet about it.
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:40 PM   #6
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Funny thing about that. I had to look it up to be sure but it appears you don't need three to make an orgy. Three or more does seem to be a common interpretation but I see plenty of room in the definitions for two boisterous people to have an orgy. But carry on as you were, lol.
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:46 PM   #7
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Several cats, one orgy = a cats' orgy.
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:28 PM   #8
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It's cats'. However, you might use the singular, as in 'a cat fight' (more than one cat).
I don't think cats are the orgy type.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:43 PM   #9
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I think John is right. My experience is that the strange sound you hear (often sounds like babies crying) is two, and only two, cats in luv!
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr ploppy View Post
One time there had been four of them, all stood directly under his window, their high-pitched shrieks, moans and wails sounding like a cats orgy.

Should it be cats, cat's or cats' ?
As mentioned above, you have the "a" in there which makes cat singular. So if you want possessive, cat's would correct.

However cat is being used as an adjective here, so I do not think you want possessive case at all.

a blue orgy
a blue car
a cat orgy

All the same basic format. The cat does not OWN the orgy. Instead you are telling what KIND of orgy.

So in my opinion, singular, non possessive.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:40 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by wraylewis View Post
I think John is right. My experience is that the strange sound you hear (often sounds like babies crying) is two, and only two, cats in luv!
Whereas if it sounds like babies being tortured to death, the sound is two, and only two, foxes in luv.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
As mentioned above, you have the "a" in there which makes cat singular. So if you want possessive, cat's would correct.

However cat is being used as an adjective here, so I do not think you want possessive case at all.

a blue orgy
a blue car
a cat orgy

All the same basic format. The cat does not OWN the orgy. Instead you are telling what KIND of orgy.

So in my opinion, singular, non possessive.
That one makes sense to me, it is the orgy that is singular rather than the cats, and you're right about it being an adjective. But it needs to be clear that cat means small furry animals rather than its other human-related meaning.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:34 AM   #13
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That one makes sense to me, it is the orgy that is singular rather than the cats, and you're right about it being an adjective. But it needs to be clear that cat means small furry animals rather than its other human-related meaning.
Hmm, I think most readers will assume fury animals when they read that. I did at least.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:37 AM   #14
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Hmm, I think most readers will assume fury animals when they read that. I did at least.
Most people won't care where the apostrophe goes either, but it matters to me.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:50 AM   #15
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A cat orgy has slightly different connotations to a cats' orgy, to me. The latter seems to have more emphasis on the cats, which seems to fit the original sentence better.

That's just a gut feeling, though. I have no particular expertise other than being a native speaker.
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