Nearing the end of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat," the story's narrator, in an attempt to kill his second cat, murders his wife when she tries to stop him. Wishing to avoid having his crime detected, he decides to inter her body within the cellar wall, expecting no one to ever find it. What he does not realize until much later, however, is that, in the process of entombing his wife in this manner, he has also boarded up the still living cat inside the wall with her. For the next few days, he feels relief at the cat's apparent disappearance, as he assumes it had fled on account of his violence.
Eventually, the police arrive as part of their investigation. The narrator accompanies them on their search of the house, confident that they will never find his wife's body. They make their way down into the cellar (where the wife has been entombed within the wall), and again, the police seem to make no progress. Confident that his crime will remain undiscovered, the narrator raps his cane against the wall (the same one in which his victim has been hidden), not realizing that the cat is still alive within. The cat begins to howl, drawing the attention of the police, who respond by breaking down the wall, discovering the body of his murdered wife.