In fact, only to you who hail from parts of North America prone to palatalization and nasalization of your vowels:
While the pronunciation of "Hwæt" does rhyme more with "cat" than with "what", this is only the case if you speak like Dr. Gregory House. If your normal pronunciation of "box" resembles in any way the spelling "bee-ax" suddenly Old English epic poems seem to begin not with "What!" but with a sound more fitting for a millpond than a meadhall. I promise you, that though there may be much in Old English study open to interpretation, no Anglo-Saxon scop ever called to attention a horde of drinking men by quacking like a duck.
A Concerned Party
postscript: One day, I will have internet at my home again. For now, I'm in a cafe next to a laundromat, blogging while Vaulting does more productive things.