Pluto---this was the cat's name---was my favorite pet and playmate.
With this in my collection, I felt obligated to read it for Bingo :)
This short story is a doozie for animal lovers, especially cat ones. Our leader through this madness states he has an "illness". As you read along, it seems to be a mixture of self-loathing and depression with alcoholism the symptom and pushing the progression of his deterioration.
I didn't know what to expect and was firmly along with the guy at this quote:
To those who have cherished an affection for a faithful and salacious dog, I need hardly be at the trouble of explaining the nature or the intensity of the gratification thus derivable.
Love my doggies. Things, uh, quickly went off the rails though...
I took from my waistcoat pocket a pen-knife, opened it, grasped the poor beast by the throat, and deliberately cut one of its eyes from the socket!
Have we not a perpetual inclination, in the teeth of our best judgment, to violate that which is Law, merely because we understand it to be such?
No dude, healthy, in body and mind, people generally do not strongly feel this way. Or if they do, they sign up for boxing classes or eat cookie dough.
I was not expecting the ending and kind of had a "Well, that escalated quickly." moment.(show spoiler)
His alcoholism is not strongly thrust to the forefront but it is weaved in to remind and give the reader an easier out for him. What I found the most compelling about this story and why I love reading Poe is directly related to this snippet quote:
---hung it because I knew that it loved me, and because I felt it had given me no reason of offense;
There's a lot to unpack there. It portrays a man struggling with self-hatred, not feeling worthy of love, and striking out violently because he doesn't know how to process his feelings any other way (again, probably aggravated by the inclusion of alcohol). This story is hard to read because of the animal cruelty but it's a great discussion on why and how humans punish themselves.