“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.” —Edgar Allan Poe
Halloween read continues. Today is Black Cat Day. I once read that black cats spend more time in care than any other color. National Black Cat Day hopes to dispel superstition surrounding black cats. Some cultures consider black cats to be a symbol of evil omens and the familiars of witches. There’s the saying a black cat crossing your path from left to right is considered to be a bad omen.
In Edgar Allan Poe’s classic story, the narrator marries at a young age and introduces his wife to the domestic joys of owning pets. Among birds, goldfish, a dog, rabbits, and a monkey, the narrator singles out a large and beautiful black cat, named Pluto, as his favorite. Overcome by swings of emotions, he picked up an axe to attack the cat, but his wife defends the animal. Enraged by this interference, the narrator turns his anger at his wife and buries the axe in her head. When the police arrived unexpectedly at his apartment, the narrator keeps his cool and tries to allay their suspicion. When he taps the wall by accident, a long loud cry emanates from behind the wall. Upon dismantling the wall, the police finds the hidden corpse upon which sits the missing black cat.
Black cat or not, cats have this serendipitous relationship to books and everything literary. Bookstores are not complete without a residence cat. My cat loves to sit on my books and tap his paws on the pages. He tends to gravitate towards sitting on the books for hours on end when I’m away from my desk.