Cat Person

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"Cat Person"
AuthorKristen Roupenian
CountryUnited States
Published inThe New Yorker
Publication dateDecember 2017

"Cat Person" is a short story by Kristen Roupenian. It was published in December 2017, in The New Yorker and went viral online.[1][2]


The story follows in third person narrative the brief relationship between Margot and Robert, told from Margot's point of view. Margot is a 20-year-old college student who works in an independent cinema. Robert is a relatively older man who likes buying Red Vines at the concession stand.[1] The initial courtship mostly takes place over texting. A review in Slate writes "the story depicts the way texting supplants more organic methods of getting to know someone" allowing the formation of "imaginary constructs" of the other person, which fall apart upon meeting. The story depicts a bad sexual encounter. Slate describes it as a story of "how two people who don’t know or seemingly even really like each other can end up in bed". Margot later rejects Robert and the story ends on a bitter note.[3]


BBC describes the short story as "being shared widely online as social media users discuss how much it relates to modern day dating".[4] The Washington Post describes it as unique among the content in The New Yorker, because it resonated with a younger audience commenting, "for one of the first times, something in the magazine seemed to capture the experience not of print-oriented, older intellectuals but of Millennials."[5] The story is the year's most downloaded fiction published in The New Yorker, and also one of the most read pieces overall of 2017. The Atlantic notes that "The depiction of uncomfortable romance in 'Cat Person' seems to resonate with countless women," and describes it as a "literary adjunct to the latest #MeToo moment."[6] Personal reactions have been largely, but not entirely, along gender lines (roughly akin to those to Jane Austen),[7] and for many readers, it captures what it is like to be a woman in her twenties in 2017, including "the desperate need to be considered polite and nice at all costs."[8]

Following the story's success, Roupenian secured a seven figure deal with Scout Press for her debut book, and was the subject of a bidding war in the American market, with offers exceeding $1m.[9] She received a $1.2 million advance for her 2019 book You Know You Want This, an anthology series which includes Cat Person.[10]


  1. ^ a b Garber, Megan (11 December 2017). "'Cat Person' and the Impulse to Undermine Women's Fiction". The Atlantic. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  2. ^ Bromwich, Jonah (11 December 2017). "'Cat Person' in The New Yorker: A Discussion With the Author". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  3. ^ Miller, Laura (2017-12-11). "The New Yorker's "Cat Person" Story Is Great. Too Bad the Internet Turned It Into a Piping-Hot Thinkpiece". Slate. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  4. ^ Sini, Rozina (11 December 2017). "Cat Person: The short story people are talking about". BBC. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  5. ^ Roberts, Molly (11 December 2017). "'Cat Person' is a next step in the #MeToo movement". The Washington Post. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  6. ^ KHAZAN, OLGA (2017-12-11). "A Viral Short Story for the #MeToo Moment: The depiction of uncomfortable romance in "Cat Person" seems to resonate with countless women". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  7. ^ Welsh, Kaite (2017-12-12). "Cat Person is 'mundane', Austen is 'dross': why do so many men hate female writing?". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  8. ^ Grady, Constance (2017-12-12). "The uproar over the New Yorker short story 'Cat Person,' explained". Vox. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  9. ^ "Cat Person author Kristen Roupenian lands seven-figure US book deal". The Guardian. 20 December 2017.
  10. ^ Brockes, Emma (2019-01-26). "Cat Person author Kristen Roupenian: 'Dating is caught up in ego, power and control'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2019-01-26.

External links[edit]