Short Story Review: "The Cats of Ulthar" of H. P. Lovecraft
In Ulthar, which lies beyond the river Skai, it’s said that there is a law forbidding men to kill cats. It wasn’t always this way. Indeed, once there was an old cotter and his wife who took it upon themselves to put an end to any cat they could get their hands on. The people of Ulthar, rather than confront the couple, who were rather intimidating, just made a point of keeping their pets and mousers away from them as best they could, but things happen.
One day a group of strangers with oddly painted wagons came through Ulthar. Among them was a young boy named Menes, who’d lost both his parents to illness. His only comfort was a black kitten. He delighted in the kitten’s antics until that kitten went missing…
There are no surprises here, but by the end of the story, the reader understands why the law was passed and wants to go kick the shins of anyone who has ever mistreated an animal. To be honest, Lovecraft over does his use of antiquated English here, but he’s still able to get the reader so emotionally invested in the outcome of the story, everything else is almost secondary. This is not his best work, but is still engrossing and unusual.
Title: “The Cats of Ulthar” written in 1920, first published in the magazine The Tryout , Nov. 1920.
Author: H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937)
©2015 Denise Longrie
Image Credit » http://pixabay.com/en/cat-black-cat-power-mieze-black-233367/ by bykst