The action takes place in Italy, in a seaside hotel.
The main characters are Americans, a married couple. The husband’s name is George, the author does not mention the name of his wife. The husband lies on the bed in the hotel room and reads the book. An American is standing by the window and looking out into the garden. It’s raining. In the street, under the very windows of their room, under a green table, from which water drips, the cat hides. She tries to squeeze into a lump, so that rain drops do not fall on her.
The American feels sorry for the cat and she wants to bring her to the room. Descending the stairs, she notices the owner of the hotel, which bowed respectfully. The hotel owner likes the American. In his presence, she feels “very significant.”
The American and the servant go out into the street, under the rain, but the cat is gone. The American returns to the room. George, for a moment looking up from the book, asks where the cat went.
“I wanted her so much,” the American says, “I do not know why, but I so wanted this poor pussy.” Poor to such a poor pussy in the rain. ” But the husband does not listen, he again went into reading.
The wife sits in front of the mirror and says that she wants to change her hair, wants to eat at her desk, I want to have my knives and forks, I want my cat that would sit on my lap and purr when I’m stroked.
The husband is indifferent. “Take care, read the book!” – here is his answer to his wife’s request.
They knock on the door. On the threshold of the maid, she holds tightly to her large spotted cat, which hangs heavily in her arms. “Sorry,” she says. “The innkeeper sends this signor.”