A loyal companion, named Pluto, whom the narrator loves but begins to mistreat when his cruel humor intensifies—the narrator gouges out Pluto's eye and then hangs the cat from a tree. After its death, the cat seems to take on a supernatural existence in the double that the narrator stumbles upon at a den of disrepute. Provoked by the narrator’s guilt and paranoia, the cat appears to return in the body of a doppelganger, this time with a white patch on his breast in the shape of a gallows, warning the narrator of his fate. The cat becomes a symbol of the narrator’s delusional, altered state.
The Black Cat Quotes in Poe's Stories
The Poe's Stories quotes below are all either spoken by The Black Cat or refer to The Black Cat. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of Poe's Stories published in 2006.).
The Black Cat Quotes
I took from my waistcoat-pocket a pen-knife, opened it, grasped the poor beast by the throat, and deliberately cut one of its eyes from the socket! I blush, I burn, I shudder, while I pen the damnable atrocity.
The Black Cat Character Timeline in Poe's Stories
The timeline below shows where the character The Black Cat appears in Poe's Stories. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Black Cat
...very bad temper, in which he even lost patience with the animals, and even with Pluto. One night, drunk, the narrator returned home, and imagined that Pluto was avoiding him. This... (full context)