|My puss's puss|
Cats rarely see eye-to-eye on anything, but apparently English, Dutch, German, Danish, Swedish, Irish, and even Lithuanian cats agree that when they hear someone calling "Puss!" they should head on over to see whether tasty treats might be on offer. How all these languages settled on this string of sounds to call a cat is unclear, but it has been thus since the Renaissance. I don't know how people addressed their cats before then. Maybe they were sensible enough to realize that calling a cat to come is often a waste of one's breath.
In light of recent events, I cannot alas gloss over the more racy sense of "puss" and "pussy", which dates from the late 1600s.
The use of "puss" for another part of the anatomy, the face or mouth ("punched him in the puss") is unrelated. It comes from
Irish pus (lip, mouth) and has been used in English since the mid-1800s.
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