The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe

Pluto my black cat

look how he walks
so dainty

and purs
purring softly

he loves me and I love him

yes me and Pluto are friends
his is my confidant
my constant
companion

through good times and bad
he is always here for me

walking around
listening attentive
with eager and deliberate footing

jumping up onto the counters
and cabinets

messing with my papers
chasing feathers

pawing his hands in the air

and licking
himself

licking

that black deep sable fur coating

I love Pluto
yes I do love him

and how I will talk to him
and he talks to me

not with human voice but I know what he means
I know what he says when he looks at me with
those bright green eyes of his

when his ears prick up attentively
when his head lifts back
dignified

I know he is alive
and well
listening to me and my troubles and hustles
and bustling out in the real world the lives of men

thank Goodness I have Pluto
to keep me comfort here in my living room

here in my Den

and one day like any other day
I go to pet him but he is reluctant
see

Pluto don’t want to be pet no more
not by me
well at least not in this moment
here

he wants to do his own thing
he wants to scratch himself
he wants to claw
he wants to play with my things

but he doesn’t want to play with me
no of course not why would he
why would he want
to

PLAY

with ME?

See him running jumping moving about
sitting there in the corner
or floundering around

prancing smiling laughing at me
yes he’s laughing

he’s laughing with his eyes Ha Ha

I laugh back
at you Black Cat

Pluto

who do you think you are

some sort of God?

I’ll show you!

no longer will you avoid me
dear friend

no longer will you cling to your
corner cave dwelling

no longer will you leave me here
to fry to die to sleep to breathe
the musty air by my lonesome

no longer will I choke on this smoking
cigar stink by myself

no longer will I be the only
one

no longer dear Sir
with your fine black minken tail

COME HERE!

NOW!

I grab for him and catch him by the tale
and he screeches out and yells

and I blow my smokey cloud into his face
billowing there
now you too will participate

and he screams again
with utmost felinity catty
no time for chit

CHATTY

he snatches at ME

he bites my hand

O now you are in for it

my fair black sabled
friend

and I grab him
I grab my Black Cat

this man-God-creature-thing
I grab him by the back of the knee
and I hold him in my crushing hands
and look into his green sad-streamed
tear-dropping eyes

and I say to him with sweet soothing
words

take this

take it for all its worth

and I take out my pen from my waist-coat
pocked at I stab him in his eyes

stabbing
stabbing

STABBING

STABBING I stab him I gorge him I make him blind

there now what will you do without
me now that you
are

blind

and the cat runs off into the other room
and I hear his wailing moaning sobs

his WAILS

his MOANS

his SOBS

all night he keeps me up with those wailing
moaning sobs

what have I done?

and the next morning I eat my jam
and toast and I look at him
but he does not look back

he can’t

as he stumbles and bumps his head
on the counters

as he tries to find himself
somewheres

as he tries to do what used to come
so easily so naturally
so giftedly with elegance and grace

dignity

now gone

sitting there on the floor
in silence

as the toast
goes stale in my throat

What Madness possessed me?

Pluto, I’m sorry!

Won’t you forgive me

Can’t you see, I wasn’t being me,
I mean I was but you know how I get sometimes
you understand right?

You are my best friend

only silence with those
gorged out eyelids
staring blankingly past me through me
deep down into my bitter black soul

I can’t take this any longer!

I am not strong, I am not like you
regal feline friend

I cannot stand to live with what I have done
I cannot stand to see you in such harm
disrepaired unprepared
unvisioned unfun

and so I grab him this time
with less quarrel
he doesn’t know who it is
he doesn’t know tomorrow

all he knows is a world of pain inflicted upon
him by my hands

these DAMNED HANDS!

Damn me!

Damn Man!

I take him, I take my cat
and I go outside and I hang him from the banyon tree

and there he chokes out his last breath
and I sigh a sigh of relief

it was the right thing
putting him out of his misery
though I don’t
know

if mine

will ever be extinguished

I wish I wish I try to find peace
I try to find sleep

I put out my cigar
I stub it out I extinguish its tarry black tip
in the ashtray sitting next to me
on the counter top

waiting

and I slide down the sofa
slowly

my eyes dreary
my head weary whimsy spinning slightly
I think I’m a bit tipsy
maddening world go by-bye now

and suddenly my eyes open
and I feel this warming sensation
and I start to realize I’m in the presence
of some fiery flaming illuminescence

and yes
I can feel it
I can feel myself burning burning with passion
flesh seering searing WRITHING
with pain!

my house is on FIRE!

the whole building is AFLAME

I get up
I get up and run run out the door
stumbling over the counters and cabinets
and tables and chairs stumbling bumbling
tripping over myself trying to get out
trying to find the EXIT

trying to find my way through this mortol
toil and coil and PAIN

and as I leave
through that door-screen screaming in pain

to break through to the outside
world of calm night air and tranquility

I do see above my fireplace
the image
of
a black cat

with a smile on his face