North American, US General American (GenAm)
Note: Transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and may contain errors.
the black cat for the most wild yet most homely narrative, which I'm about to pin. I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad, indeed would I be to expect it in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet mad am I not? And very surely do I not dream? But tomorrow I die! And today I would unburden my soul. My immediate purpose is to place before the world plainly succinctly, and without comment, a series of mere household events in their consequences. These events have terrified, have tortured, have destroyed me, yet I will not attempt to expound them to me. They have presented a little more but horror to many. They will seem less terrible than baroque here, after. Perhaps some intellect may be found which will reduce my phantasm to the commonplace. Some intellect more calm, more logical, and far less excitable than my own which will perceive in the circumstances I detail with awe, nothing more than an ordinary succession of very natural causes and effects from my infancy. I was noted for the docility and the humanity of my disposition. My tenderness of heart was even so conspicuous as to make me the just of my companions. I was especially fond of animals, and I was indulged by my parents with a great variety of pets. With these. I spent most of my time, and never was so happy as when feeding and caressing them. This peculiarity of character grew with my growth, and in my childhood I derived from it one of my principal sources of pleasure to those who have cherished an affection for a faithful and sagacious dog. I need hardly be at the trouble of explaining the nature or the intensity of the gratification. Thus derive a ble. There is something in the unselfish and self sacrificing love of a brute which goes directly to the heart of him, who has had frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship and gossamer fatality of mere men. I married early, and was happy to find in my wife a disposition not un congenial with my own observing my partiality for domestic pets, she lost no opportunity of procuring those of the most agreeable kind. We had birds, goldfish, a fine dog, rabbits, a small monkey, and our cat. The latter was a remarkably large and beautiful animal, entirely black and sagacious, to an astonishing degree, in speaking of his intelligence, my wife, who at heart was not a little tincture with superstition, made frequent illusion to the ancient popular notion which regarded all black cats as witches in disguise. Not that she was ever serious upon this point, and I mentioned the matter at all, for no better reason than it happens just now to be remembered. Pluto! That was my cat's name was my favorite pet, and playmate. I alone fed him, and he attended me whenever I went about the house. It was even with difficulty that I could prevent him from following me through the streets. Our friendship lasted in this manner for several years, during which my general temperament and character through the instrumentality of that fiend in temperance had, I blushed to confess it experienced a radical alteration for the worse. I grew day by day more moody, more irritable, more regardless of the feelings of others. I suffered myself to use intemperate language to my wife. At length I even offered her personal violence. My pets, of course, were made to feel the change in my disposition. I not only neglected, but he'll use them for Pluto. However, I still retained sufficient regard to restrain me from maltreating him, as I made no scruple about maltreating the rabbits and the monkey, or even the dog, when, by accident, or through affection, they came in my way. But my disease grew upon me for what diseases like alcohol! And at length even Pluto, who was now becoming old, and consequently somewhat peevish. Even Pluto, began to experience the effects of my ill temper. One night returning home, much intoxicated from one of my haunts about town, I fancied that the cat avoided my presence. I seized him when, in his fright at my violence he inflicted a slight wound upon my hand with his teeth. The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed at once to take its flight from my body, and a more than fiendish malevolence! Gin, nurtured, thrilled every fiber of my frame. I took from my Westgate pocket. A pen knife, opened. It grasps the poor beast by the throat, and deliberately cut one of its eyes from the socket. I blush. I burn! I shudder when I pin this damnable atrocity! When reason returned with the morning when I had slept off the fumes of the night's debauch, I experienced a sentiment, half of horror, and half of remorse for the crime of which I had been guilty. But it was at best, a feeble and equivocal feeling, and the soul remained untouched. I again plunged into excess, and soon drowned in wine, all memory of the deed. In the meantime the cat slowly recovered the socket of the lost. I presented. It is true, a frightful appearance, but he no longer appeared to suffer any pain. He went up