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07-1997-cat-in-the-hat

The Cat in the Hat is the main character of his self-titled children's book, written by Dr. Seuss (real name Theodor Geisel) and first published in 1957. He is a tall anthropomorphic feline who shows up at a house to entertain two children while their mother is away. His book, written as a response to the ineffectiveness of preexisting children's primers, sold over a million copies in three years and eventually became what Publishers Weekly considered the ninth best-selling children's book of all time. After his first book was published, the Cat reappeared in a 1958 sequel; a 1971 animated musical TV special; a 2003 live-action film, where he was played by Mike Myers; and as the narrator of Seussical the Musical.

History with the Macy's Parade

The Cat in the Hat was introduced to the parade in 1994, along with Barney the Dinosaur. He was the holiday ambassador for Macy's in the 1995 parade, where he was the last character balloon to appear. A walkaround of the character appeared on the "Santaland Express" at the beginning of the parade.

In 1997, 45 mph. winds struck the parade route. Barney and the Pink Panther were stabbed by the NYPD when they were tossed around by gusts of wind. The Cat, however, was not able to stand these winds, and his hat knocked down the top half of a lamppost; the falling debris injured four spectators, one of whom had her skull fractured and was left in a coma for a month. Because of this, he was banned from appearing at the parade as a balloon ever again, as new rules were implemented prohibiting giant-sized balloons from flying. The injured spectator, Kathleen Caronna, sued both Macy's and the lamppost manufacturer in 2001.

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