Cat in the Rain

by

Ernest Hemingway

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The American wife’s husband, George spends most of the story reading on a bed in a hotel room in Italy. He is in the country on holiday with his wife. Though George at times seems to be attentive to his partner—offering to go down to get the cat that she spots from their hotel window, and also telling her that she looks nice—he ultimately seems unable to connect and respond to his wife’s loneliness and unhappiness. When she returns to their room after having failed to find the cat and shares a long list of wants and desires with him, he responds by telling her to shut up and get something to read.

George Quotes in Cat in the Rain

The Cat in the Rain quotes below are all either spoken by George or refer to George. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Longing and Disappointment Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribner edition of Cat in the Rain published in 1998.
Cat in the Rain Quotes

There were only two Americans stopping at the hotel. They did not know any of the people they passed on the stairs on their way to and from their room.

Related Characters: The American Wife, George
Page Number: 129
Explanation and Analysis:

The American wife stood at the window looking out. Outside right under their window a cat was crouched under one of the dripping green tables. The cat was trying to make herself so compact that she would not be dripped on.

“I’m going down and get that kitty,” the American wife said… “The poor kitty out trying to keep dry under a table.”

Related Characters: The American Wife (speaker), George
Related Symbols: The Cat
Page Number: 129
Explanation and Analysis:

The wife liked [the hotel-keeper]. She liked the deadly serious way he received any complaints. She liked his dignity. She liked the way he wanted to serve her.

Related Characters: The American Wife, George, The Hotel-keeper
Page Number: 130
Explanation and Analysis:

“Don’t you think it would be a good idea if I let my hair grow out?” she asked, looking at her profile again.

George looked up and saw the back of her neck clipped close like a boy’s.

“I like it the way it is.”

“I get so tired of it,” she said. “I get so tired of looking like a boy.”

Related Characters: The American Wife (speaker), George (speaker)
Page Number: 130
Explanation and Analysis:

“I want to pull my hair back tight and smooth and make a big knot at the back that I can feel,” she said. “I want to have a kitty to sit on my lap and purr when I stroke her.”

“Yeah?” George said from the bed.

“And I want to eat at a table with my own silver and I want candles. And I want it to be spring and I want to brush my hair out in from of a mirror and I want a kitty and I want some new clothes.”

“Oh, shut up and get something to read,” George said.

Related Characters: The American Wife (speaker), George (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Cat
Page Number: 131
Explanation and Analysis:

In the doorway stood the maid. She held a big tortoise-shell cat pressed tight against her and swung down against her body.

“Excuse me,” she said, “the padrone asked me to bring this for the Signora.”

Related Characters: The Maid (speaker), The American Wife, George, The Hotel-keeper
Related Symbols: The Cat
Page Number: 131
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Cat in the Rain LitChart as a printable PDF.
Cat in the Rain PDF

George Character Timeline in Cat in the Rain

The timeline below shows where the character George appears in Cat in the Rain. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Cat in the Rain
Longing and Disappointment Theme Icon
Loneliness and Isolation  Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Femininity Theme Icon
Tourism and War Theme Icon
...cat under a café table, trying to shelter from the rain, and tells her husband George, who is reclining reading the paper, that she’s “going down and get that kitty.” The... (full context)
Longing and Disappointment Theme Icon
Loneliness and Isolation  Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Femininity Theme Icon
...wife continues upstairs. There, she opens the door to her room to find her husband George in the same position she had left him in: on the bed, reading. He puts... (full context)
Longing and Disappointment Theme Icon
Loneliness and Isolation  Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Femininity Theme Icon
The American wife sits down on the bed, and tells George that she wants the cat so much, though she doesn’t quite know why. She broods... (full context)
Longing and Disappointment Theme Icon
Loneliness and Isolation  Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Femininity Theme Icon
...and right sides. She looks at the back of her head and neck. She asks George whether he thinks it would be a good idea for her to let her hair... (full context)
Longing and Disappointment Theme Icon
Loneliness and Isolation  Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Femininity Theme Icon
...a cat on her lap, one that purrs when she strokes her. Encouraged, perhaps, by George’s “Yeah?” she goes on to list other things she wants. She wants a table with... (full context)
Longing and Disappointment Theme Icon
Loneliness and Isolation  Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Femininity Theme Icon
...she wants a cat now, especially if she can’t have long hair or any fun. George, who is absorbed by his book, isn’t listening to her. The wife continues to look... (full context)
Longing and Disappointment Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Femininity Theme Icon
Tourism and War Theme Icon
Someone knocks on the door and George invites them to enter. The maid stands in the doorway, holding a large tortoise-shell cat... (full context)