The Black Cat Questions and Answers
by Edgar Allan Poe

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What is a summary of "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe?

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The story starts out with a boy who preferred the company of animals to the company of his peers. When he grows up, he finds a woman who feels the same way and they get married. One of the pets they have is a black cat named Pluto, who adored the narrator, at least until the narrator came home drunk one night and removed one of the cat's eyes. After that, the cat was terrified of the man, and eventually that enraged the man so much that he hung the cat from a tree, effectively killing it. That night, the man awoke to his house being on fire, and he, his wife, and their servants were barely able to escape with their lives. The only thing left over after the fire was the wall at the head of the man's bed, which had a silhouette of a cat with a rope around its neck burned onto it. The man brought a cat that was similar to Pluto into their new home, though it had one difference: it had a white patch on it. Over time, the white patch grew into a distinctive shape: the gallows (an omen referencing the fact that the man hung Pluto from a tree). While walking into the basement with his wife, the new cat nearly trips the man; the man swung out at the cat with the axe, and when his wife tried to stop him, he killed her with the axe and hid her in the wall of the basement. The police went down into the basement during their investigation, and just as they were about to leave, they heard a strange sound coming from the wall. So they took the wall down and found the wife's body, along with the cat, who the man had accidentally trapped in the wall, too, leading to the man's arrest. We are hearing this story from the man as he awaits his hanging for the murder.

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