Literature / I Am a Cat

"I am a cat. As yet I have no name"

Written by Sōseki Natsume (the pen-name of Natsume Kin'nosuke), I Am a Cat first appeared in ten instalments in the literary magazine Hototogisu (Cuckoo) between 1905 and 1906. Soseki had not intended to write more than a short story but it was so popular that he expanded it to fill a whole book. It is the chronicle of an unloved, unwanted, wandering cat who spends all his time observing humans, from his schoolteacher master, his servant, his horrible children, and more.


  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: One of the first things the cat tells us of was how a Shosei (student) catches, boils and eats cats. It doesn't get much better from there when he tries to sneak into the school-teacher's house and repeatedly gets thrown out by the maid. The children spend a lot of their time torturing the poor thing.
  • Shout-Out: In the original Japanese dub of Azumanga Daioh, the bombastic (as is typical with Norio Wakamoto) way Chiyo's father identifies himself to Osaka during her dream sequence is a direct invocation of the book's title ("Wagahai wa neko de aru.")
    • The Strain Neko from K also introduces herself as "Wagahai wa neko de aru" and the series is her reason to live as a cat.
    • Persona 5 has resident cat-like mascot Morganna refer to herself with the pronoun "Wagahai".
    • Log Horizon has Cat Folk among the various playable races of the Elder Tale MMORPG. The player of one such character, Chief Nyanta, refers to himself by this pronoun due to being The Roleplayer of the cast.
    • With "Wagahai" itself being an archaic Japanese pronoun, most of the time it's used, it's a reference to this story.

Alternative Title(s): Wagahai Wa Neko De Aru