Retired English Teacher
1. I have never heard the version with the cat before.
2. meaning you'll do the real cleaning later."
I agree with both points. As I learned the phrase from my mother, a "lick and a promise" is a quick procedure that you hope will improve the immediate appearance of something. The implied promise that you will do the real cleaning later may be broken.
Cats don't necessarily have anything to do with it.
Last edited by probus; 02-May-2014 at 08:04.