EDITOR’S NOTEOriginally published in 1843, “The Black Cat” remains one of Edgar Allan Poe’s most psychologically disturbed and narratively ambiguous short stories. Superficially, “The Black Cat” is a tale of misplaced domestic violence and guilt, a theme first occurring in Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart.” On a deeper level, the story explores “the spirit of perverseness,” which the narrator describes as “one of the primitive impulses of the human heart.” The unraveling conscious mind succumbing to repressed animal “perverseness,” a condescending term applied by the narrator to his heart’s dark desires. It’s difficult to claim and confront your inner animal, but it’s much, much easier to entomb a black cat.