The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe
This story is real and unreal at the same time. As I read it I thought about the Halloween and superstition but what I did not realize it that black cats were thought to be witches in disguise. This man’s love for animals was enormous and he found a wife that shared in his love. They had many pets but one particular black cat named Pluto. Now at first for several years all seemed ok. But the man grew moody, angry and irritable and his animals felt the change. The man was an alcoholic and I won’t even mention what he did to the poor cat one night.
So far Poe is taking a seemingly real story and twisting it in to an unfathomable abuse of an animal. The best part is the is yet to come when after the murdering of the cat the man’s house burns down and is left with an imprint of a dead cat with a noose in the wall of the chard home. What Poe is trying to tell us is beyond me but this story was like a train wreck I just couldn’t stop reading it.
As the man grows more unstable he meets a new cat, only this one as a white patch of hair. He also tries to kill this cat only to be stopped by his wife, “But this blow was arrested by the hand of my wife. Goaded, by the interference, into a rage more than demoniacal, I withdrew my arm from her grasp and buried the axe in her brain” (Poe 140). Wow I didn’t see that coming!
This is a good story for the Halloween time of year because it gives us a apparently normal man at the beginning and a murderer at the end and the only was he was caught was because of the cat that he thought has disappeared was cemented in behind the wall in the cellar with the body of his dead wife!