Friday, February 13, 2009

Poe Fridays: The Black Cat

I think I subconsciously tried to make this Friday the 13th the spookiest possible by choosing The Black Cat for today's Poe Fridays reading. If you haven't read it yet, it's only about 7 printed pages so go read it now.

This story is quite similar to last week's The Tell-Tale Heart in that is the confession of a murderer. This story is a bit more bizarre though since it's about a guy who gets raging drunk and kills his cat. He feels some remorse so he goes out and finds a similar cat but begins to hate that one too. When the cat almost trips him on the stairs, he goes to kill it with an axe but ends up killing his wife instead. He disposes of the body by plastering it behind the wall in the basement. Little does he know that he also walled-up the live cat in there and the cat gives an eerie, deathly howl while the police are there and the man is caught.

I thought that this story read like a campfire story. It builds slowly, gives you a sense of security and then "aaah!", the scary cat screams! The premise of this story was a bit odd and I never felt any connection to the narrator. I don't think that this will be one of my favorite Poe stories but my favorite passage was this one, when he almost gets tripped by the cat. Having also had some cat-on-the-stairs incidents, I understand his murderous feelings!

One day she accompanied me, upon some household errand, into the cellar of the old building which our poverty compelled us to inhabit. The cat followed me down the steep stairs, and, nearly throwing me headlong, exasperated me to madness. Uplifting an axe, and forgetting, in my wrath, the childish dread which had hitherto stayed my hand, I aimed a blow at the animal which, of course, would have proved instantly fatal had it descended as I wished.

For next week, let's try something different with the short story Hop-Frog.

Wondering if Poe was an animal lover or hater,


  1. My post is up here. I think I liked this one more than you did.

  2. So you are the hostess of Poe Fridays! I have been reading these posts elsewhere -- perhaps Elizabeth above I think -- and have enjoyed remembering these stories. Perhaps I will try to do this next week! I've not read Hop-Frog.

    And thanks for visiting my book blog and entering the giveaway! good luck!

  3. I'd probably go with animal hater. I'd never take an ax to my kitty.

  4. Jenners - I'm glad you found us over here! It's a fun little thing to do each week.

    Lenore - I agree. I don't think an animal lover could write something so violent about these blameless kitties!

  5. A little late, but here it is!! I've been trying to play catch-up all week and I finally think that I've got caught up as you will see on your most recent Poe Fridays post soon! Anyways, here's my direct link for this one . . .