This elegant image conveys the absolute athleticism, supple grace, confidence of the great, lethal creature – while making it familiar enough that the listening children can imagine the danger as breadbox-sized if they need to.

  • 12.011 mixed with a rumble as of a gigantic tom-cat purring.

Hyphenated or not in OED.

“tom cat | tom-cat, n.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2017, Accessed 21 September 2017.

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