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EL GATO BAJO LA LLUVIA

ERNEST HEMINGWAY
Slo dos americanos haba en aquel hotel. No conocan a ninguna de las
personas que suban y bajaban por las escaleras hacia y desde sus habitaciones.
La suya estaba en el segundo piso, frente al mar y al monumento de la guerra,
en el jardn pblico de grandes palmeras y verdes bancos. Cuando haca buen
tiempo, no faltaba algn pintor con su caballete. A los artistas les gustaban
aquellos rboles y los brillantes colores de los hoteles situados frente al mar.
Los italianos venan de lejos para contemplar el monumento a la guerra,
hecho de bronce que resplandeca bajo la lluvia. El agua se deslizaba por las
palmeras y formaba charcos en los senderos de piedra. Las olas se rompan en
una larga lnea y el mar se retiraba de la playa, para regresar y volver a romperse bajo la lluvia. Los automviles se alejaron de la plaza donde estaba el monumento. Del otro lado, a la entrada de un caf, un mozo estaba contemplando el
lugar ahora solitario.
La dama americana lo observ todo desde la ventana. En el suelo, a la derecha, un gato se haba acurrucado bajo uno de los bancos verdes. Trataba de
achicarse todo lo posible para evitar las gotas de agua que caan a los lados de
su refugio.
Voy a buscar a ese gatito dijo ella.
Ir yo, si quieres se ofreci su marido desde la cama.
No, voy yo. El pobre minino se ha acurrucado bajo el banco para no mojarse Pobrecito!
El hombre continu leyendo, apoyado en dos almohadas, al pie de la cama.
No te mojes le advirti.
La mujer baj y el dueo del hotel se levant y le hizo una reverencia cuando
ella pas delante de su oficina, que tena el escritorio al fondo. El propietario
era un hombre viejo y muy alto.
Il piove expres la americana.
El dueo del hotel le resultaba simptico.
S, s signora, brutto tempo. Es un tiempo muy malo.
Se qued detrs
Se qued detrs del escritorio, al fondo de la oscura habitacin. A la mujer

le gustaba. Le gustaba la seriedad con que reciba cualquier queja. Le gustaba


su dignidad y su manera de servirla y de desempear su papel de hotelero. Le
gustaba su rostro viejo y triste y sus manos grandes.
Estaba pensando en aquello cuando abri la puerta y asom la cabeza. La
lluvia haba arreciado. Un hombre con un impermeable cruz la plaza vaca y
entr en el caf. El gato tena que estar a la derecha. Tal vez pudiese acercarse
protegida por los aleros. Mientras tanto, un paraguas se abri detrs. Era la
sirvienta encargada de su habitacin, mandada, sin duda, por el hotelero.
No debe mojarse dijo la muchacha en italiano, sonriendo.
Mientras la criada sostena el paraguas a su lado, la americana march por el
sendero de piedra hasta llegar al sitio indicado, bajo la ventana. El banco estaba
all, brillando bajo la lluvia, pero el gato se haba ido. La mujer se sinti desilusionada. La criada la mir con curiosidad.
Ha perduto qualque cosa, signora?
Haba un gato aqu contest la americana.
Un gato?
S il gatto.
Un gato? la sirvienta se ech a rer Un gato? Bajo la lluvia?
S; se haba refugiado en el banco y despus: Oh! Me gustaba tanto!
Quera tener un gatito.
Cuando habl en ingls, la doncella se puso seria.
Venga, signora. Tenemos que regresar. Si no, se mojar.
Me lo imagino dijo la extranjera.
Volvieron al hotel por el sendero de piedra. La muchacha se detuvo en la
puerta para cerrar el paraguas. Cuando la americana pas frente a la oficina, el
padrone se inclin desde su escritorio. Ella experiment una rara sensacin. Il
padrone la haca sentirse muy pequea y a la vez, importante. Tuvo la impresin de tener una gran importancia. Despus de subir por la escalera, abri la
puerta de su cuarto. George segua leyendo en la cama.
Y el gato? pregunt, abandonando la lectura.
Se fue.
Y dnde puede haberse ido? pregunt l, abandonando la lectura.
La mujer se sent en la cama.
Me gustaba tanto! No s por qu lo quera tanto. Me gustaba. No debe
resultar agradable ser un pobre gatito bajo la lluvia.
George se puso a leer de nuevo.

Su mujer se sent frente al espejo del tocador y empez a mirarse con el espejo de mano. Se estudi el perfil, primero de un lado y despus del otro, y por
ltimo se fij en la nuca y en el cuello.
No te parece que me convendra dejarme crecer el pelo? le pregunt,
volviendo a mirarse de perfil.
George levant la vista y vio la nuca de su mujer, rasurada como la de un
muchacho.
A m me gusta como est.
Estoy cansada de llevarlo tan corto! Ya estoy harta de parecer siempre un
muchacho.
George cambi de posicin en la cama. No le haba quitado la mirada de
encima desde que ella empez a hablar.
Caramba! Si ests muy bonita dijo.
La mujer dej el espejo sobre el tocador y se fue a mirar por la ventana. Anocheca ya.
Quisiera tener el pelo ms largo, para poder hacerme moo. Estoy cansada
de sentir la nuca desnuda cada vez que me la toco. Y tambin quisiera tener un
gatito que se acostara en mi falda y ronroneara cuando yo lo acariciara.
S? dijo George.
Y adems, quiero comer en una mesa con velas y con mi propia vajilla. Y
quiero que sea primavera y cepillarme el cabello frente al espejo, tener un gatito y algunos vestidos nuevos. Quisiera tener todo eso.
Oh! Por qu no te callas y lees algo? dijo George, reanudando su lectura.
Su mujer miraba desde la ventana. Ya era de noche y todava llova a travs
de las palmeras.
De todos modos, quiero un gato dijo. Quiero un gato. Quiero un gato.
Ahora mismo. Si no puedo tener el pelo largo ni divertirme, por lo menos
necesito un gato.
George no la escuchaba. Estaba leyendo su libro. Desde la ventana, ella vio
que la luz se haba encendido en la plaza.
Alguien llam a la puerta.
Avanti dijo George, mirando por encima del libro.
En la puerta estaba la sirvienta. Traa un gran gato color carey que pugnaba
por zafarse de los brazos que lo sujetaban.
Con permiso dijo la muchacha il padrone me encarg que trajera esto
para la signora.

,
Royallib.ru


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, Royallib.ru

Ernest Hemingway Cat in the Rain


There were only two Americans stopping at the hotel. They did not know any
of the people they passed on
the stairs on their way to and from their room. Their room was on the second floor facing the sea. It also faced
the public garden and the war monument. There were big palms and green
benches in the public garden.
In the good weather there was always an artist with his easel. Artists liked
the way the palms grew and the
bright colors of the hotels facing the gardens and the sea.
Italians came from a long way off to look up at the war monument. It was
made of bronze and glistened in
the rain. It was raining. The rain dripped from the palm trees. Water stood in
pools on the gravel paths. The sea
broke in a long line in the rain and slipped back down the beach to come up
and break again in a long line in the
rain. The motor cars were gone from the square by the war monument.
Across the square in the doorway of the
caf a waiter stood looking out at the empty square.
The American wife stood at the window looking out. Outside right under
their window a cat was crouched
under one of the dripping green tables. The cat was trying to make herself so
compact that she would not be
dripped on.
Im going down and get that kitty, the American wife said.
Ill do it, her husband offered from the bed.
No, Ill get it. The poor kitty out trying to keep dry under a table.
The husband went on reading, lying propped up with the two pillows at the
foot of the bed.
Dont get wet, he said.
The wife went downstairs and the hotel owner stood up and bowed to her as
she passed the office. His desk
was at the far end of the office. He was an old man and very tall.
Il piove,
the wife said. She liked the hotel-keeper.
Si, Si, Signora, brutto tempo

. It is very bad weather.


He stood behind his desk in the far end of the dim room. The wife liked him.
She liked the deadly serious
way he received any complaints. She liked his dignity. She liked the way he
wanted to serve her. She liked the
way he felt about being a hotel-keeper. She liked his old, heavy face and big
hands.
Liking him she opened the door and looked out. It was raining harder. A
man in a rubber cape was crossing
the empty square to the caf. The cat would be around to the right. Perhaps
she could go along under the eaves.
As she stood in the doorway an umbrella opened behind her. It was the maid
who looked after their room.
You must not get wet, she smiled, speaking Italian. Of course, the hotel-keeper had sent her.
With the maid holding the umbrella over her, she walked along the gravel
path until she was under their
window. The table was there, washed bright green in the rain, but the cat was
gone. She was suddenly
disappointed. The maid looked up at her.
Ha perduto qualque cosa, Signora?
There was a cat, said the American girl.
A cat?
Si, il gatto.
A cat? the maid laughed. A cat in the rain?
Yes, she said, under the table. Then, Oh, I wanted it so much. I wanted a
kitty.
When she talked English the maids face tightened.
Come, Signora, she said. We must get back inside. You will be wet.
I suppose so, said the American girl.
They went back along the gravel path and passed in the door. The maid stayed outside to close the umbrella.
As the American girl passed the office, the padrone bowed from his desk.
Something felt very small and tight
inside the girl. The padrone made her feel very small and at the same time
really important. She had a

momentary feeling of being of supreme importance. She went on up the


stairs. She opened the door of the room.
George was on the bed, reading.
Did you get the cat? he asked, putting the book down.
It was gone.
Wonder where it went to, he said, resting his eyes from reading.
She sat down on the bed.
I wanted it so much, she said. I dont know why I wanted it so much. I wanted that poor kitty. It isnt any
fun to be a poor kitty out in the rain.
George was reading again.
She went over and sat in front of the mirror of the dressing table looking at
herself with the hand glass. She
studied her profile, first one side and then the other. Then she studied the
back of her head and her neck.
Dont you think it would be a good idea if I let my hair grow out? she asked,
looking at her profile again.
George looked up and saw the back of her neck, clipped close like a boys.
I like it the way it is.
I get so tired of it, she said. I get so tired of looking like a boy.
George shifted his position in the bed. He hadnt looked away from her since
she started to speak.
You look pretty darn nice, he said.
She laid the mirror down on the dresser and went over to the window and
looked out. It was getting dark.
I want to pull my hair back tight and smooth and make a big knot at the
back that I can feel, she said. I
want to have a kitty to sit on my lap and purr when I stroke her.
Yeah? George said from the bed.
And I want to eat at a table with my own silver and I want candles. And I
want it to be spring and I want to
brush my hair out in front of a mirror and I want a kitty and I want some
new clothes.
Oh, shut up and get something to read, George said. He was reading again.
His wife was looking out of the window. It was quite dark now and still raining in the palm trees.

Anyway, I want a cat, she said, I want a cat. I want a cat now. If I cant have
long hair or any fun, I can
have a cat.
George was not listening. He was reading his book. His wife looked out of
the window where the light had
come on in the square.
Someone knocked at the door.
Avanti, George said. He looked up from his book.
In the doorway stood the maid. She held a big tortoiseshell cat pressed tight
against her and swung down
against her body.
Excuse me, she said, the padrone asked me to bring this for the Signora.