It makes sense because dead cats have a lot of physical properties. Squishiness, odor, all that. Elasticity, probably. I haven't been able to find any research demonstrating that last one, and the people at the SPCA won't even take my calls anymore, but it seems reasonable. From a great enough height, a dead cat would probably bounce a bit. I haven't tested this theory myself, but I could see where the phrase could be relatable to such a predatory, life-crushing system like the stock market.
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"Wow. That one was like 8 inches, at least."
And if you don't find it too disgusting, there's no reason not to apply the same thinking to anything that displays a late, probably doomed comeback. Your battered football team scores a third-quarter touchdown and is now down by only 16? Dead cat bounce. A fading celebrity stars in a low-budget indie movie that isn't terrible? Dead cat bounce. Your patching up a misguided relationship with someone who's clearly wrong for you? Dead cat bounce.
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"Here's what I think of your cat, and here's what I think of YOU, Karen!"