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Home > impact on women / resistance > Iran: Cat and Mouse: A Medieval Fable for Modern Iran

Iran: Cat and Mouse: A Medieval Fable for Modern Iran

Thursday 23 December 2021, by siawi3


Cat and Mouse: A Medieval Fable for Modern Iran

Saturday, 4 December 2021


The dark and arresting sketches of Touka Neyestani, IranWire’s Canada-based cartoonist, have captivated our readers since 2013. Once an artist for Iranian magazines, in his later career Touka’s acid takes on the political situation in Iran – be they bleak and menacing, inducive of a guilty laugh, or gut-wrenchingly sad – won him millions of fans the world over, and quite a few detractors, too. Then, ten years after he left Iran, Touka embarked on a different project: a graphic re-working of a fable by the medieval Persian poet Ubayd Zakani.

Cat and Mouse tells the story of a group of mice oppressed by a vain, intoxicated, and bloodthirsty cat in Kerman. Unable to take it anymore, the mice rise up, wage war, and take the cat prisoner, only to be knocked back into their place in the dust. The original 14th-century tale was rooted in a particular historical moment and has much to tell us about that time. Through Touka’s expert, expressive pen, the adapted version takes on brand new, allegorical significance for the modern-day Islamic Republic.

The Cat, the Mouse, Khamenei, and his Guards is IranWire’s short entertaining documentary about Touka’s brushes with revolutionary culture, censorship, and imprisonment in the Islamic Republic – and the recent, personal tragedy that haunts his work to this day.

Learn more about the graphic novel and buy it at