play cat and mouse with

cat and mouse

noun
1.
Also called cat and rat. a children's game in which players in a circle keep a player from moving into or out of the circle and permit a second player to move into or out of the circle to escape the pursuing first player.
2.
Western U.S. tick-tack-toe ( def 1 ).
Idioms
3.
play cat and mouse, to engage in a gamelike relationship in which evasion and pursuit are used: They played cat and mouse for a while before she consented to go out with him.
4.
play cat and mouse with,
a.
to toy or trifle with.
b.
to use strategy on one's opponent, especially while waiting to strike: The detective played cat and mouse with the suspect.

Origin:
1910–15

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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WordNet
cat and mouse

noun
a game for children in which the players form a circle and join hands; they raise their hands to let a player inside the circle or lower their hands to bar a second player who is chasing the first 
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
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