The expression “Sitting in the catbird seat” means you have an advantage over the opposition.
The catbird is a thrush, and like its cousin, the mockingbird, perches among the highest branches of a tree and has a warning cry that resembles that of a cat.
“Sitting in the catbird seat” originated in the U.S. South in the nineteenth century and was regularly used on radio by Red Barber (1908-1992), the Brooklyn Dodgers’ baseball announcer.
Amused by the phrase, Dodgers fan and humorist James Thurber (1894-1961) popularized the expression in a 1942 New Yorker story entitled “The Catbird Seat.”
As Thurber wrote, “‘Sitting in the catbird seat’ meant sitting pretty, like a batter with three balls and no strikes on him.”