What's in a Word | All Blogs


A catty remark

By Debra Dobbins

Kitty – a tender name for a cat, but also a pool of money for a specific purpose. In “Pearls Before Swine,” the rat uses the word “kitty” with no small amount of sarcasm.

Whoa, let’s hold our horses! A rat is controlling a cat? That’s downright unnatural and a doggone shame. Good thing this is just a cartoon.

Or, is it just a cartoon? Who really are the rat and cat? Does syndicated cartoonist Stephan Pastis know something we don’t?

OK, I’m over-reacting. I still remember, though, studying George Orwell’s Animal Farm. In it, pigs symbolize leaders who become dictators, dogs symbolize the police/military and Boxer, the horse, symbolizes the working class. First published in 1946, Orwell’s novella is a classic tale of how power corrupts.

Pastis writes on his blog (http://stephanpastis.wordpress.com/) that he’s read two plays by Russian author Anton Chekhov. Knowing that, I bet that he’s also read—and learned greatly from—Animal Farm. If you haven’t yet read this book, I strongly recommend it.
 

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