An Anthology of Feline Tales


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There’s just something about cats. We own them, viralize them, buy sweaters and calendars and mugs with them on it. They are points of fascination and obsession. Even though the 21st century has rejected the superstitions of previous centuries, returning cats to the godhood of Ancient Egypt, we still recognize their power to suggest the dark side of nature. Outside cats leave their human’s property at dusk and venture out into the darkness, returning in the morning with the corpses of birds and rodents. They step out of the comfort zones of most humans, plumb the hours of night when humans feel most alone and vulnerable, and they own that space. Cats have featured heavily in horror fiction since the Middle Ages, and have inspired masters of the genre from Poe and Stoker to Lovecraft and Bierce, from Le Fanu and Chambers to Blackwood and Saki.


Cats’ role in supernatural fiction, horror, and folklore is likely due to their perceived liminality: they seem to be able to access an alternate plane of experience that is just outside of humans’ comfort zone. They venture into the murky, liminal spaces of life – the spaces where we are afraid to go alone, too big to fit, too high to climb, and to dark to see. Can a more fitting metaphor for the afterlife – for magic, for the spiritual, for the unknown – possibly be concocted? The stories contained in this book are among the most famous felines in literature. We will explore this side of the cat as well as its darker connotations. There are stories of ghost cats, battered felines getting gruesome revenge, speaking animals, messengers from the afterlife, feline royalty, shape-shifting were-cats, and much more. It’s the purrrfect companion for a dark and windy night.