Dr Suess's The Cat in the Hat (1957) made a return appearance in The Cat in the Hat Comes Back (1958). As before, the mother of two children has left them alone for the day and instructs them to clear away a huge amount of snow while she is out. While they are working the cat turns up and snacks on a cake in the bathtub with the water running, leaving a pink residue. Preliminary attempts to clean it up fail as they only transfer the mess elsewhere, including a dress, the wall, a pair of ten dollar shoes (seven-pounds in the British version), a rug, the bed, the TV, a pan... The cat reveals that Little Cat A is nested inside his hat. Little Cat A doffs his hat to reveal Little Cat B, who reveals C, and so on. A "spot killing" war then takes place between the mess and Little Cats A through V, who use an arsenal of primitive weapons including pop guns, bats, and a lawnmower.

     The battle to clean up the mess results in a 'spot' that covers the entire yard. Little Cats V, W, X, and Y then take off their hats to uncover microscopic Little Cat Z. Z takes his hat off and unleashes a "Voom", which cleans up the back yard and puts all of the other Little Cats back into the big Cat's hat. The cat in the hat leaves, with the promise he will return some day, and bring all his little cats back. The 'spot', if we were looking for something analogous in McCarthy's novel Remainder (and why not?), would be the endless replication of 'matter' that haunts the protagonist. Could Seuss's 'Voom' be the indefinable phenomena that finally accomplises transcendence?

                      Note 8:

Dr Seuss's 'The Cat in the Hat':

  A Reply to Tom McCarthy's



stories and things



leaving the text alone

Beckett and mysticism

why real directors are writers

Dr Seuss and Tom McCarthy

why the novelist's job is harder than God's

the thing about autobiographical fiction

how to write a successful novel

George Herbert and Judith McPherson

the value of not doing

thoughts on TLOD

don't judge a book

things I was thinking when writing TLOD

time, words, are the enemy

the master's voice


why I didn't want to write anymore

the value of not knowing

when do you give up on a book?


what makes a book great

divine fancy


time, identity and fiction