Cat Person

Kristen Roupenian

Read time: about 2 minutes

This particular story is like a breath of fresh air. It is a contemporary linear story that portrays relationships based on assumptions that are constantly changing. Margot is a young sophomore of twenty who meets Robert on the job as a person behind concession stand. They meet and Margot cracks a joke that was meant to indulge both of them into a conversation but it hardly happens. Robert comes back and collects her number. After a series of sessions of texting they finally decide to go on a date where the movie date leads to drink and love making. Margot pretend to be a not so smart woman to get Robert to like her.

The effect of this on him was palpable and immediate, and she felt as if she were petting a large, skittish animal, like a horse or a bear, skillfully coaxing it to eat from her hand.

She is offering her most etched out version that could fit with Roberts personality. During the course of the night the perceptions of change, remaining stable. Margot imagines different personalities of the man she hardly knows anything about. Roupenian beautifully describes Margot with the ease of a knife on butter getting each edge right. Margot comes across as a new age kid who relies on the technology and rush into a relationship that has no form. It is volatility that is brought out in the story. A gentle description of modern day relationship takes a jab in the Story when she dumps him after having sex with him. The best part of the story are it’s dialogues that are so raw, you know it happens everywhere around you, to you.

“Hi Margot, I saw you out at the bar tonight. I know you said not to text you but I just wanted to say you looked really pretty. I hope you’re doing well!”

I know I shouldnt say this but I really miss you”

“Hey maybe I don’t have the right to ask but I just wish youd tell me what it is I did wrog


I felt like we had a real connection did you not feel that way or . . .”

“Maybe I was too old for u or maybe you liked someone else”

Is that guy you were with tonight your boyfriend


Or is he just some guy you are fucking


When u laguehd when I asked if you were a virgin was it because youd fucked so many guys

Are you fucking that guy right now Are you

Are you

Are you

Answer me


Read the story on the New Yorker for free here.

Read the author talk about the story here.

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Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH