The Cat in the Hat
Yep. The Cat in the Hat is back—and once again, he's a totally uninvited guest. Right off the bat, the kids are hip to the Cat's ways.
"Don't you talk to that cat.
That cat is a bad one,
That Cat in the Hat.
He plays lots of bad tricks." (22-26)
You tell him, Sally.
But wait. Is the Cat in the Hat really all that bad? At first, it definitely seems that way. He just shows up at their house and gets into the tub and starts eating a slice of cake. Um… who does that? Plus, he ends up making a huge mess and causing quite a headache for the kids.
But at the end of the day, the Cat in the Hat redeems himself. He fixes all the problems, cleans up the house, and even helps the kids get rid of the snow so they don't have to do any work. When he leaves, he tells them:
And so, if you ever
Have spots, now and then,
I will be very happy
To come here again… (293-296)
All things forgiven? Based on the narrator's anxiety issues, we're guessing not so much.
Normal is for Dick and Jane
The Cat in the Hat is also a total contrarian. You know, kind of like the annoying uncle at the who always says dumb things at family dinners just to rile people up. But unlike the annoying uncle, the Cat does serve a pretty handy purpose: he challenges us to think about how we're behaving and thinking.
Mr. Cat thinks that the narrator's and Sally's freak out session is a little excessive. He just wants them to calm down and see that it is not the end of the world. Instead of indulging them in their worry, he just laughs everything off:
"Don't ask me," he laughed.
"Why, you know that I can!"
Then he picked up the rug
And away the cat ran. (124-127)
Our Cat is all about shaking things up—and hopefully getting us thinking.
Is the Cat in the Hat a communist? That seems to be the question of the hour. Our answer?
If you want some more deets on the Cat as a communist, head on over to our "Meaning" section. Your brain juices will flow, we promise.