I do not expect anyone to believe the wild tale which I am about to write. I would be mad to expect it in a case where even my own senses reject the evidence that I have seen. Yet, crazy I am not - and I know that it was not a dream. But tomorrow I am to be put to death, and so today, I must unburden my soul.
My purpose is to list plainly before you, a series of household events. Through their consequences, these events have terrified - have tormented - have destroyed me, yet I will not attempt to explain them. One day, perhaps, someone may be found who will be able to explain these fantasies of mine, in a calm and logical manner, as nothing more than they really must have been - an ordinary succession of very natural causes and effects.
From my childhood, I was noted for being an extremely kind and warm person. So tender was my heart, that I was constantly teased for it by my companions. I was especially fond of animals, and my parents indulged me with a great variety of pets. With these animals, I spent most of my time, and I was always happiest when feeding or caressing them. As I grew, these tender habits also grew within me, and in my manhood pets were still my principle sources of happiness and pleasure. To those who have felt an affection for a faithful and obedient dog, I should hardly have trouble explaining the nature and intensity of the gratification one can get from them. There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of an animal that goes directly to the heart of the person who has had the opportunity to test the weak friendship and wavering loyalty of man.
I married young, and I was happy to find a wife whose character was so much like my own. Observing my love for animals, she lost no opportunity finding for us those of the most agreeable kind. We had birds, gold-fish, a fine dog, rabbits, a small monkey, and a cat.
The cat was a remarkably large and beautiful animal.