How would the second cat in Poe's story "The Black Cat" be described?

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emilyknight7 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When the narrator first meets the second black cat, he describes it by saying:

"It was a black cat - a very large one - fully as large as Pluto, and closely resembling him in every respect but one. Pluto had not a white hair upon any portion of his body; but this cat had a large, altogether indefinite splotch of white, covering nearly the whole region of the breast."

After he adopts the cat and comes to know it better, its resemblance to Pluto becomes more alarming. It is the same size as Pluto, and it's even missing an eye. Because of this likeness, he discovers that he is "disgusted" and "annoyed" by the cat's affection to him. Eventually, he says he feels "bitter hatred" toward it. Too ashamed of his treatment of Pluto to harm the cat, he flees from it whenever it comes near him. He wants to destroy it, but its one difference from Pluto makes him too afraid to do so: the new cat's white hair, which he previously thought of as an indefinite shape, now looks to be the shape of a gallows.

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The Black Cat

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