What Is the Theme of "Cat in the Rain"?

Themes of self-absorption, dissatisfaction and isolation run through the 1925 short story "Cat in the Rain" by Ernest Hemingway. Set in an Italian hotel, the story revolves around an American couple's interactions in their room after the wife sees a cat out in the rain. It rains throughout the story.

Literary critics attribute Hemingway's understated style of writing to his earlier career as a journalist. His Iceberg Theory, stating that "the dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water," is clear in this short story. Readers get a sense that something bigger lies beneath what the story's spare words convey, particularly about the cat.