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The Black Cat

The Black Cat


by Edgar Allan Poe

The Narrator Timeline and Summary

  • We meet the man in his jail cell writing the story of his life, the day before he's scheduled to be executed.
  • As a youth he was mellow and kind.
  • He loved animals and his favorite thing was spending time with them.
  • When he marries a woman who also likes animals, they get many pets, including a big, black cat named Pluto.
  • He and Pluto have a great relationship.
  • Even when the man starts drinking and starts verbally and physically abusing his wife and the other pets, he leaves Pluto alone.
  • At first.
  • When Pluto gets on his nerves, he cuts out one of his eyes.
  • Not longer after, he hangs Pluto from a tree, killing him
  • When his house burns down that night, the narrator loses all his wealth, and is forced to move.
  • One night, while drinking, he meets a black that looks just like Pluto.
  • It follows him home.
  • This cat stays near the narrator all the time, and makes him crazy.
  • When the cat follows the man and his wife down to the cellar of the old house they have to live in, he tries to kill it with an axe.
  • His wife stops him and he kills her instead, walling up her body in the cellar.
  • The police suspect the man of doing something to his wife, and search his house.
  • When they are about to leave, he hits the wall behind which the dead body is hidden.
  • The voice of the cat responds, and the police tear down the wall and find the body, with the black cat sitting on its head.