The Feline Horrors of Lovecraft’s Cats: Exploring the Mythos of His Beloved Pets
Howard Phillips Lovecraft, the master of horror, is known for his terrifying tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, a vast and ancient cosmic horror that threatens humanity. But did you know that his pet cats played a significant role in his stories?
Lovecraft was a proud owner of several cats throughout his life, and their presence can be felt in many of his works. It is said that Lovecraft was particularly fond of cats and found their mysterious and independent nature to be fascinating.
In his story “The Cats of Ulthar,” Lovecraft explores the dark and mysterious world of felines. The story tells of a town where cats are revered and protected; anyone harming a cat is punished severely. When a group of strangers arrives in town and begins to torment the cats, they suffer the wrath of the townspeople and are never seen again.
Lovecraft’s cats also make an appearance in “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath.” In this story, the protagonist, Randolph Carter, travels to the Dreamlands, a fantastical world beyond our own. There, he meets the Elder Ones, a group of powerful beings who are worshipped by cats. The cats, in turn, aid Carter in his quest to find the fabled city of Kadath.
In “The Rats in the Walls,” Lovecraft’s cats play a crucial role in the story’s twist ending. The protagonist, Delapore, inherits a ancestral home with a dark history. As he begins to explore the house’s hidden passages, he discovers an ancient cult that worships rats. It is revealed that Delapore’s own cat is a direct descendant of the cult’s sacred feline, and has been aiding in their sinister rituals.
Lovecraft’s cats were so beloved that he even dedicated a poem to them: “The Cats.” The poem celebrates the mystique and allure of felines, and speaks to the bond between humans and their pets.
Lovecraft’s fascination with cats went beyond their role in his stories. He was an active member of several cat clubs, attended cat shows, and was known to donate money to local animal shelters.
In the end, Lovecraft’s cats added a unique and eerie dimension to his horror stories. Their presence added an element of mystery and otherworldliness that was truly unique. They remain an integral part of his mythos and speak to the enduring bond between humans and their furry friends.
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