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Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Cthulhu Deep Down Under. Lovecraft's the Whisperer in Darkness. Great Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos. The Children of Gla'aki: The Adventure of the Deadly Dimensions. When a caravan of wanderers passes through the city, the kitten of an orphan Menes traveling with the band disappears.

Upon hearing of the couple's violent acts towards cats, Menes invokes a prayer before leaving town that causes the local felines to swarm the cat-killers' house and devour them. Upon witnessing the result, the local politicians pass a law forbidding the killing of cats. Influenced by Lord Dunsany , the tale was a personal favorite of Lovecraft's and has remained popular since his death. It was first published in the literary journal Tryout in November and now resides in the public domain.

Weird Fiction, Cosmic horror, and the Cthulhu Mythos

An unnamed narrator, while gazing upon his pet cat , begins to reminisce about a law in the town of Ulthar which forbids the killing of cats and relates the story of how this law came to be. The tale begins with the introduction of an old cotter and his wife who delight in trapping and violently killing any cats who venture onto their property. The people of the town are too afraid of the couple to speak against these acts, so they instead focus their efforts on keeping their felines from approaching the cotter's house.

One night a caravan of travelers from a distant land arrives and passes through the village. They bring with them an orphan named Menes who, having lost his family to a plague , has only a small, black kitten to keep him company. After being unable to find his kitten on the third day of his stay, Menes hears the stories of the old cotter and his wife, and decides to take action.

Menes spends time meditating prior to unleashing a prayer that affects the shapes and movements of the clouds in the sky. The caravan leaves Ulthar that night, shortly before the townspeople notice that all of their cats have gone missing. The townspeople suspect both the old couple and the wanderers, but the innkeeper's son Atal witnesses the felines circling the property of the cotter.

The next morning, the cats have returned to their owners well-fed, but the cotter and his wife have vanished. When the townspeople explore their abandoned house, they discovered nothing more than two skeletons that have been picked clean. The local burgesses , after reviewing the evidence and stories of the townspeople, decide to pass a law that forbids the killing of cats in Ulthar.

They form armies; they fly to the moon. Cats act as a child might imagine they would. Cats can do anything the author needs them to do, to further the story. Or at least it feels that way. So, even if chaos reigns, as long as you have a cat by your side, things are good somewhere. Like Twain, Lovecraft had definite opinions about cats and dogs, and their owners. HPL expressed those feelings in a post-humorously published article simply entitled: A dog will retrieve, a cat will not; therefore…the dog is the more intelligent.

Dogs can be more elaborately trained for the circus and vaudeville acts than cats, therefore…they are cerebrally superior…this is…nonsense. We would not call a weak-spirited man more intelligent than an independent citizen because we can make him vote as we wish…yet countless persons apply… [a]…parallel argument in appraising the grey matter of dogs and cats.

Nowhere does HPL drop breadcrumbs, to entice dog owners into dialogue over their choice of a canine companion. He states his opinion in a take it, or leave it manner.

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He knows what he wants, and…get it in the most effective way, even at the sacrifice of time — which he philosophically recognises as unimportant in the aimless cosmos. There is no turning…aside or distracting his attention…among humans, this is the quality of mental tenacity…the ability to carry a single thread through complex distractions…a…sign of intellectual vigour and maturity. A dog …depend[s] wholly on companionship, and [is] utterly lost except in packs or by the side of his master. Leave him alone and he does not know what to do except bark and howl and trot about till sheer exhaustion forces him to sleep.

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A cat…is never without…contentment. Like a superior man, he knows how to be alone and happy. In summation, according to HPL, dogs are peasants and the pets of peasants, while cats are gentlemen and the pets of gentlemen. Next, does recent research support assertions Lovecraft made about dog and cat owners almost ninety years ago? The total respondents were 4, Stanley Coren, who also researched the questions of psychological traits and pet ownership, filled in a few more blanks beyond the Gosling study.

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He found that people who owned both dogs and cats, seem to be much like people who own only dogs And whereas the agreeable and conscientiousness traits of dog owners are presented as positive in the research, Lovecraft saw such idiosyncrasies in a less flattering manner. I am not one to assume a dogmatic position in concluding this discussion. He had no money; his marriage failed; he outgrew traditional sources of succor: He did not drink.

Tales of Lovecraftian Cats

Though a man of keen intelligence, he did not receive the accolades afforded to someone with academic achievements. And his health was never his wealth. Second, my own views are; it is very difficult to make broad, sweeping assessments of human beings, based upon any criteria. Your choice of an animal may result from your living circumstances. Or it may reflect your relationship status. Being married, living in a house, and having children living in the home, are all factors that are more likely for dog owners than cat owners.

Yet, pets are an important part of our social and emotional infrastructure. Tales of Lovecraftian Cats eBook: David Haden: Kindle Store

Their value cannot be underestimated. I am a cat owner; one is an older black cat and one, a younger calico. One thing is plain: HPL used conventions about vampires and werewolves in The Hound , to break those same conventions. Instinct bests intellect, as few cats are better than an ensemble of scientific and psychic investigators when one confronts ancient horrors in The Rats in the Walls.

Repeatedly, as HPL sought ways to heighten the weird factor in a tale, the use of dogs and cats topped the list. Black monstrous bridges across oily rivers, Cobwebs of cable by nameless things spun; Catacomb deeps whose dank chaos delivers Streams of live foetor, that rots in the sun. Colour and splendour, disease and decaying, Shrieking and ringing and scrambling insane, Rabbles exotic to stranger-gods praying, Jumbles of odour that stifle the brain.

The Cats of Ulthar

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  • Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Each person was a cat owner. Together, I hope we can share a few thoughts on those questions. To begin our discussion, why are black cats a symbol of Halloween and bad luck? Besides mystic connotations, what other symbolic trappings has grown up around the black cat?

    Use of the black cat as a union symbol originated: Dogs in Selected Lovecraft Tales: On some level, HPL found dogs to be more useful in his storylines than they were in real life. The Hound Besides The Hound , Lovecraft steered clear of the use of supernatural dogs — werewolves — the staple of fashionable Gothic horror.