Summary of “Black Cat”

Since childhood, the narrator is distinguished by meekness of temper and love for animals. Early marriage, the narrator is happy to find in his wife similar features, and especially – the love of animals. Houses they live birds, goldfish, thoroughbred dog, rabbits, monkey and cat. A beautiful, all-black cat called Pluto, is the owner’s favorite. The cat responds reciprocally – it is very much attached to the owner and always follows him on the heels.

So everything lasts for several years, but the narrator changes greatly under the influence of alcohol, which he himself calls the Devil’s Seduction. He becomes gloomy and irritable, starts screaming at his wife and after a while raises his hand on her. The narrator’s pets also feel this change – he not only ceases to pay attention to them, but to treat them badly. Only to Pluto he still has warm feelings, therefore he does not offend the cat. But the attachment to alcohol is getting stronger, and

even Pluto now suffers from the bad temper of the owner.

Late at night, in drunk, the narrator returns home, and it occurs to him that his cat avoids it. A young man catches Pluto. The cat, frightened by rudeness, bites the owner by the hand – not much, but still to the point of blood. This leads the narrator into a rage. He snatches a knife from his pocket, and cuts out his eyes with no pity. In the morning, his deed provokes his remorse, but not for long – he soon drowns it without a trace in alcohol.

The wound in the cat slowly heals, he still pacing around the house, but at the sight of his abuser in fear runs away from him. At first the narrator bitterly regrets that the being who loved him so much now hates him so much. However, he continues to drink, and regret disappears, into his place comes bitterness. One morning a young alcoholic calmly hangs a cat.

The night after the crime is committed, a fire begins in the narrator’s house. The narrator, his servant and his wife are saved by a miracle. From the house there is one wall. In the morning, after returning to the ashes,

the snow-storm victim discovers a crowd of onlookers near her. They are attracted by the drawing that appeared on the wall, like a bas-relief – a huge cat with a noose around its neck.

For many months the ghost of the deed pursues the narrator. He is looking for a cat, similar to Pluto, on dirty dens and finds one in a tavern. The owner of the institution refuses from money – he does not know where this cat and whose it is. The cat suits Pluto, but with one difference: his breast is decorated with a dirty white spot. In the morning the narrator sees another similarity – as in Pluto, the new cat does not have one eye.

The cat quickly takes root in the new house and becomes the darling of the wife, and the narrator begins to feel a growing dislike towards him. But the more the dislikes grow in the narrator, the more the cat becomes attached to it. The narrator begins to fear the cat. He has a desire to kill an animal, but he holds back, remembering the old wine. Meanwhile, the formless white spot on the cat’s chest begins to change and, in the end, assumes the shape of a gallows. Because of this alcoholic more and more hates the cat.

Once the narrator and his wife go down to the basement for economic reasons. With them, the cat stumbles, stumbling over which the narrator almost breaks his neck. This becomes the last straw. The narrator grabs an ax and is about to chop the cat in place. The wife holds his hand and for this she pays her life – her husband cuts her head with an ax.

After the murder, the narrator begins to think about how to be with the corpse, and decides to wall him in the wall of the cellar. Having buried his dead wife, the narrator goes to look for a cat, but does not find it. The cat disappeared and does not appear on the second day, nor on the third. These nights the narrator sleeps quietly, despite the burden of crime lying on his soul.

In connection with the disappearance of the woman, a short inquiry and a search was conducted, which did not bring any results. On the fourth day, the police suddenly come back to the house unexpectedly. They carry out a thorough search, including in the basement, which also does not yield any results. The servants of the order are going to leave, but the narrator, triumphant and feeling his impunity, begins to praise the excellent construction without a single crack. In support of his words, he hits the cane on the wall in the place where the corpse of his wife is immured. Suddenly, for the policemen and the assassin himself, a cry is heard from behind the wall, turning into a howl.

The police break the wall and find the corpse of a woman. On the head of the corpse there sits a cat, which the narrator accidentally walled in. He then with his cry and gives out the murderer, condemning him to death at the hands of the executioner.

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Summary of “Black Cat”