When the American wife spots a cat stuck in the rain across the street from her hotel, it strikes a chord in her. This suggests that the creature’s pathetic state encapsulates her own feelings of loneliness and vulnerability. When the wife tells her husband, George, that “It isn’t any fun to be a poor kitty out in the rain,” it echoes her view that her own life is lacking in “fun” and happiness. She feels lonely and vulnerable, something suggested in the long list of unfulfilled desires and wishes she shares with the unsympathetic George. As such, the cat’s plight seems to mirror her own emotions. The wife’s desire for the animal also embodies her desire for close contact and connection. When she returns upstairs to her room, disappointed after failing to find the animal under the café table, she tells George that she wants a cat to sit on her lap and purr while she strokes it. This fantasy of close physical contact and connection with the creature points to the wife’s longing for emotionally intimate bonds, bonds which seem lacking in her marriage to George.
The Cat Quotes in Cat in the Rain
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.”
With the maid holding the umbrella over her, she walked along the gravel path until she was under their window. The table was there, washed bright green in the rain, but the cat was gone. She was suddenly disappointed.
“Ha perduto qualche cosa, Signora?”
“There was a cat,” said the American girl.
“Sì, il gatto.”
“A cat?” the maid laughed. “A cat in the rain?”
“Yes,” she said, “under the table.” Then, “Oh, I wanted it so much. I wanted a kitty.”
When she talked English the maid’s face tightened.
As the American girl passed the office, the padrone bowed from his desk. Something felt very small and tight inside the girl. The padrone made her feel very small and at the same time really important.
“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.
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.”