In "Cat in the Rain” we see an American couple. They are in a hotel. It’s
raining. The American wife notices a little kitten outside. It’s shivering and
trying to hide from rain. The American lady decides "to safe” this creature. George,
her husband, suggests doing this instead of the lady. But she refuses, and he
just tells her not to get wet:
"I’ll do it,” her husband offered from the bed.
"Don’t get wet,” he said.
These two phrases sound automatically. I mean that George is not
interested in his wife’s words.
Reading this story I understand that these two Americans love each
other, but in their relationships there’s no romanticism and eroticism. George
doesn’t care about it; everything suits him, but his wife… She needs it. She
needs this eroticism, this tenderness. You know, it’s difficult for me to
understand, that they are of one age. It seems that George rather older than
Another problem is that the American wife can’t share her feelings with
George, because he is not interested in them, so they are just accumulating in
her heart and soul. That’s why the lady needs this kitten. She needs somebody
to gift him/her all these feelings and emotions, all this warmth.
To my mind the main line of the story is devoted
to being sick at heart. The young woman misses her home very much. And this
depressed atmosphere is only supported by endless rain. The darkness on the
street, the wet weather: all these things only make the lady feel sadder and
more depressed. But she sees a small kitten, that is standing under the rain
and she has a strong feeling to warm and protect him. This small kitten is like
a symbol of her own home, and the only thing she wants now is to stroke and maybe
to hug it, because the kitten seems to be something very important for her at
this moment. But even this small dream is broken by circumstances. She will
never see the kitten again. And instead of it, the maiden brings an old big
cat. On the one hand, it can replace the kitten, but not for this lady. This
cat is not something she desires so much. I think Hemingway is very successful
in showing us this feeling of melancholy. By these, so to say, objects, he
manages to prove us the importance of being loved and cared. Because the woman
lacks exactly these feelings.
This story is based on a metaphor. The woman is compared with the cat. And this metaphor hints at the woman's unhappiness, says she's miserable rather than satisfied with her life.
The plot is quite simple. The woman sees a cat in the rain and wants to give her a shelter. But when she goes out there is no cat there. Later on she is given a cat but another one. This simplicity of the plot hints at complicated relations.
We see it quite clear that her husband doesn't love her. he doesn't pay much attention to her words. But she loves the owner. The repetition of the word "liked" (in the description of the very man) creates the necessary effect of her "liking".
To sum it up, this woman, the main character, is like a cat in the rain. Poor and lonely.