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The Cat in the Hat steps in on the mat.

"Whoever heard of a six-foot cat!?"
Mr. Krinklebine, the Animated Adaptation

The Cat in the Hat is a children's storybook written by Dr. Seuss in 1957, that started off his series of books for beginning readers. The story opens on two children who are stuck inside their house due to rain while their mother is out, when they suddenly get a visit from the titular character, a six-foot-tall cat who wears a tall striped hat. The Cat offers to entertain them by performing various tricks, with help from his funny-looking assistants, Thing One and Thing Two, despite the objections from the kids' pet fish. Eventually, after the Cat and the Things end up making a mess of the house, the kids take control of the situation, and the Cat makes up for it by cleaning the place on his way out right before the mother returns.

The Cat became one of Dr. Seuss' most enduring characters, returning the following year in a Sequel titled The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, in which he leaves a "cat ring" in the bathtub and spends the rest of the book spreading the spot around in an attempt to get rid of it. In addition, he hosted three other books by Seuss and also served as the narrator for the otherwise unrelated Daisy-Head Mayzie (published after Seuss' death).

Outside of the printed world, the original book was adapted as a television special by DePatie-Freleng Studios in 1971, in which the storyline was expanded so that the Cat enlists the kids in helping him find his missing "Moss-Covered Three-Handled Family Gradunza", and the fish is given the name Carlos K. Krinklebine. It was followed up with Dr. Seuss On the Loose (in which the Cat introduced animated adaptations of The Sneetches, The Zax, and Green Eggs and Ham) and The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat (in which the Cat matches wits with the title character of How the Grinch Stole Christmas). The Cat later starred in puppet form in The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss. The original book also got a Living Books title.

He was also portrayed by Mike Myers in a live-action film in 2003. It was not well received by critics and fans, but especially the Geisel Estate, who effectively stopped production of any future live action adaptation.

There is apparently an animated reboot in production at Illumination Entertainment, effectively putting the live action film under Canon Dis Continuity.

Is currently starring in the Edutainment Show The Cat in The Hat Knows A Lot About That on PBS.

The original book(s) contain examples of:

The animated version contains examples of:

  • "I Am" Song: In which the Cat lists the many ways to say his name in other languages.
  • Irony: The kids are bored, but the first song that's played highlights all of the toys that are littered in the house that they aren't playing with!
  • MacGuffin: The one he is searching for is his "moss-covered, three-handled family gradunza"... whatever that means.
    • When the mother returns, she notes that the Cat in the Hat had said MacGuffin in his hands. It's assumed that the item was actually his moss-green colored umbrella. Which would explain the expression of the kids when they hear it.
  • Youtube Poop: A "random mode" version of the special was one of the earliest videos of this type.

The Film of the Book contains examples of: