The Cat in the Hat Comes Back
by Dr. Seuss
A Touch Neurotic
The unnamed narrator who identifies himself as a "somebody" (as in, Mom chose two "somebodies" to clean up the driveway) isn't the kind of guy who just lies back and rolls with the punches. No, this is a young boy who wants this dratted cat to stop messing up the perfect order of everything so he can start shoveling the driveway already!
Let's just say he's not the most, um, excitable kid on the planet:
And then I got mad.
This was no time for fun.
I said, "Cat, you get out!
There is work to be done!" (53-56)
Don't even try bending the rules on this kid's watch. He wants to keep things in order because if he doesn't, who knows what could happen? A crazy cat could come in and pink up the whole place! Oh wait. That already happened.
So you can imagine how helpless he feels as he watches the Cat in the Hat run from one end of the house to another, making a bigger and bigger and BIGGER mess. But here's the thing: the narrator doesn't even try to solve the problem. Instead, he just freaks out:
And all I could say was,
"Now what, Cat?
NOW what?" (139-141)
This kid has clearly never heard of problem-focused coping. Even when all the cats come out of the hat to help with the mess, he's still just in freak-out mode. And you know what? His helplessness and paranoia don't really seem to help the situation at all.
Which brings us to our last point. If the Cat and his pink tub-stain represent the oh-so-quickly spreading communism in the U.S. (check out our "Meaning" section for more on that), then the narrator's overblown reaction is probably Seuss's way of telling his readers that they were overreacting. Are we saying Seuss was a communist? Definitely not. But we are saying that he had something to say about the whole ordeal. Didn't he always?