Poe's Short Stories

The Black Cat

After reading The Black Cat, describe how the narrator feels about the cat from the whole story.

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In the beginning, the narrator loves the cat and considers him a companion.

"Pluto -- this was the cat's name -- was my favorite pet and playmate. I alone fed him, and he attended me wherever I went about the house. It was even with difficulty that I could prevent him from following me through the streets."

After the narrator begins drinking, Pluto is the only member of the household to escape its owners wrath and abuse.

"For Pluto, however, I still retained sufficient regard to restrain me from maltreating him, as I made no scruple of maltreating the rabbits, the monkey, or even the dog, when by accident, or through affection, they came in my way."

Unfortunately, the narrator's misuse of alcohol eventually caused him to mistreat the cat as well.

"... and at length even Pluto, who was now becoming old, and consequently somewhat peevish -- even Pluto began to experience the effects of my ill temper."

Finally, he killed the cat for killing's sake.

"One morning, in cool blood, I slipped a noose about its neck and hung it to the limb of a tree; -- hung it with the tears streaming from my eyes, and with the bitterest remorse at my heart; -- hung it because I knew that it had loved me, and because I felt it had given me no reason of offence; -- hung it because I knew that in so doing I was committing a sin -- a deadly sin that would so jeopardize my immortal soul as to place it -- if such a thing were possible -- even beyond the reach of the infinite mercy of the Most Merciful and Most Terrible God."


The Black Cat