When the story's narrator ultimately loses control and murders his wife, it is the climax of the story. The climax is brief and powerful:
Goaded by the interference into a rage more than demoniacal, I withdrew my arm from her grasp and buried the axe in her brain.
The impulsive murder is the culmination of the escalating conflicts up to this point in the story. In the story's rising action, the narrator becomes increasingly unstable and mistreats his wife and their many pets. He cites alcoholism as the reason for his cruel and bizarre behavior.
After the murder, the hiding of the body makes up the the story's falling action. The narrator entertains and rejects a number of ways of covering up the killing before he decides to hide her body in the wall. The story's macabre conclusion is the revelation of the body and the mutilated cat.