You are not going to believe this story. But it is a true story, as true as I sit here writing it – as I will die in the morning. Yes, this story ends with my end, with my death tomorrow.
I have always been a kind and loving person – everyone will tell you this. They will also tell you that I have always loved animals more than anything. When I was a little boy, my familyalways had many different animals round the house. As I grew up, I spent most of my time with them, giving them their food and cleaning them.
I married when I was very young, and I was happy to find that my wife loved all of our animal friends as much as I did. She bought us the most beautiful animals. We had all sorts of birds, gold fish, a fine dog and a cat.
The cat was a very large andbeautiful animal. He was black, black all over, and very intelligent. He was so intelligent that my wife often laughed about what some people believe; some people believe that all black cats are evil, enemies in a cat’s body.
Pluto – this was the cat’s name – was my favorite. It was always I who gave him his food, and he followed me every-where. I often had to stop him from following me through thestreets! For years, he and I lived happily together, the best of friends.
But during those years I was slowly changing. It was that evil enemy of Man called drink who was changing me. I was not the kind, loving person people knew before. I grew more and more selfish. I was often suddenly angry about unimportant things. I began to use bad language, most of all with my wife. I even hit hersometimes. And by that time, of course, I was often doing horrible things to our animals. I hit all of them – but never Pluto. But, my illness was getting worse – oh yes, drink is an illness! Soon I began to hurt my dear Pluto too.
I remember that night very well. I came home late, full of drink again. I could not understand why Pluto was not pleased to see me. The cat was staying away from me. MyPluto did not want to come near me! I caught him and picked him up, holding him strongly. He was afraid of me and bit my hand.
Suddenly, I was not myself any more. Someone else was in my body: someone evil, and mad with drink! I took my knife from my pocket, held the poor animal by his neck and cut out one of his eyes.
The next morning, my mind was full of pain and horror when I woke up. I wasdeeply sorry. I could not understand how I could do such an evil thing. But drink soon held me to forget.
Slowly the cat got better. Soon he felt no more pain. There was now only an ugly dry hole where the eye once was. He began to go round the house as usual again. He never came near me now, of course, and he ran away when I when I went too close.
I knew he did not love me anymore. Atfirst I was sad. Then, slowly, I started to feel angry, and I did another terrible thing…
I had to do it – I could not stop myself. I did it with a terrible sadness in my heart – because I knew it was evil. And that was why I did it – yes! I did it because I knew it was evil. What did I do? I caught the cat and hung him by his neck from a tree until he was dead.
That night I woke up suddenly –my bed was on fire. I heard people outside shouting, “fire! Fire!” our house was burning! I, my wife and our servant were lucky to escape. We stood and watched as the house burned down to the ground.
There was nothing left of the building the next morning. All the walls fell down during the night, except one – a wall in the middle of the house. I realized why this wall did not burn: becausethere was new plaster on it. The plaster was still quite wet.
I was surprise to see a crowd of people next to the wall. They were talking, and seemed to be quite excited. I went closer and looked over their shoulders. I saw a black shape in the new white plaster. It was the shape of large cat, hanging by its neck.
I looked at the shape whit complete horror. Several minutes passed before I...