The Black Cat
Edgar Allan Poe
On the eve of his execution, an unnamed narrator opens the story by confessing himself. From his infancy he was noted for his docility and humanity. He was a sweet person. He has always loved animals and he had lots of them, but his favourite was a large and beautiful black cat, named Pluto. Then he introduces his wife saying she also is an animal lover.
When the narrator began to suffer from violent mood swings due to the influence of alcohol he took to mistreating his animals and also his wife. During his uncontrollable rage, he spared only Pluto but one night after returning home drunk, believing Pluto has avoided him he grasped the cat but he was bitten on the hand. The narrator has a demonic reaction so with a penknife he cut out one of the cat's eyes. Although he has a feeling of remorse, he is overwhelmed by a spirit of perverseness. One morning he hangs Pluto on a tree.
On the night of Pluto's hanging, the narrator's family's house burns down. The day after the fire, which destroys all the narrator's possessions, a group of neighbours collected around a wall that remained standing. The narrator discovers the impression of a gigantic cat with a rope around its neck on the surface of the wall. He attempts to explain rationally the existence of the impression, but he finds himself haunted by this phantasm. One night, in a tavern, he discovers a new black cat placed on a large barrel of alcohol. He resembles Pluto but with a splash of white on his fur.
The narrator took him home and he became part of the household, much adored by his wife as well. However, he soon cannot resist feelings of hatred for the cat. These murderous feelings intensify when the narrator discovered that the cat's splash of white fur has mysteriously taken on the shape of the gallows. The white fur revealed the mode of execution adopted for Pluto's killing.