Black cat. by edgar allan poe

FOR the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to
Pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to
Expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence.
Yet, mad am I not and very surely do I not dream. But tomorrow I
Die, and today I would unburthen my soul. My immediate purpose is to
Place before the world, plainly, succinctly, and without comment, a
Series of mere household events. In their consequences, these events
Have terrified – have tortured – have destroyed me. Yet I will not
Attempt to expound them. To me, they have presented little but Horror
– to many they will seem less terrible than barroques. Hereafter,
Perhaps, some intellect may be found which will reduce my phantasm to
The common-place – some intellect more calm, more logical, and far
Less excitable than my own, which will perceive, in the circumstances
I detail with

awe, nothing more than an ordinary succession of very
Natural causes and effects.

From my infancy I was noted for the docility and humanity of my
Disposition. My tenderness of heart was even so conspicuous as to
Make me the jest of my companions. I was especially fond of animals,
And was indulged by my parents with a great variety of pets. With
These I spent most of my time, and never was so happy as when feeding
And caressing them. This peculiarity of character grew with my
Growth, and in my manhood, I derived from it one of my principal
Sources of pleasure. To those who have cherished an affection for a
Faithful and sagacious dog, I need hardly be at the trouble of
Explaining the nature or the intensity of the gratification thus
Derivable. There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing
Love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had
Frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity
Of mere Man.

I married early, and was happy to find in my wife a disposition
Not uncongenial with my own. Observing my partiality for domestic
Pets, she lost no opportunity of procuring those of the most
Agreeable kind. We had birds, gold-fish, a fine dog, rabbits, a small
Monkey, and a cat.

This latter was a remarkably large and beautiful animal, entirely
Black, and sagacious to an astonishing degree. In speaking of his
Intelligence, my wife, who at heart was not a little tinctured with
Superstition, made frequent allusion to the ancient popular notion,
Which regarded all black cats as witches in disguise. Not that she
Was ever _serious_ upon this point – and I mention the matter at all
For no better reason than that it happens, just now, to be
Remembered.

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.

Our friendship lasted, in this manner, for several years, during
Which my general temperament and character – through the
Instrumentality of the Fiend Intemperance – had (I blush to confess
It) experienced a radical alteration for the worse. I grew, day by
Day, more moody, more irritable, more regardless of the feelings of
Others. I suffered myself to use intemperate language to my wife. At
Length, I even offered her personal violence. My pets, of course,
Were made to feel the change in my disposition. I not only neglected,
But ill-used them. For Pluto, however, I still retained sufficient
Regard to restrain me from maltreating him, as I made no scruple of



Black cat. by edgar allan poe