ish or unfaithful wife
is a common theme in Russian folk art
. A copper engraving
from the 1820's-30's shows a man preparing to whip
which sits on the shoulder
of his startled wife
The rhyming text beneath tells the story: the wife had apparently put some meat into the oven but the tin dish melted. Therefore, the engraving notes, she had nothing to feed her husband with. The frightened wife blames the cat for the ruined dinner. The husband pretends to play along with this ruse, catches the cat and ties it to the wife's back. He then "begins thrashing the cat, and the cat starts clawing the wife's back." Hilarity ensues.