A creature from Scottish and Irish mythology, the Cat Sith (Cat Sidhe, in Irish folklore), is a large black cat with a white spot on its chest, not unlike the cat Poe describes as coming into his narrator’s life after Pluto. The Cat Sith, in Scottish folklore, haunts the Highlands and may actually be a witch in disguise. The Cat Sith is believed to be able to steal a corpse’s soul before it could cross over into the next life. The Cat Sith is supposed to be as large as a dog, and attracted to warmth. Students may find this website to be an interesting resource for reading more about the legends and tales surrounding the Cat Sith.
Poe chooses to name the narrator’s original black cat Pluto, after the Roman god of the Underworld. It is not surprising, then, that the cat ultimately becomes the narrator’s tormentor in the form of his own guilt, and leads the narrator to make decisions that bring about his own demise.