?Cats have long been associated with the weird and the creepy, and have received a bit of a bad rap for it. Maybe it’s the way they leave little “presents” in the form of the remains of small, dead animals and birds on the front porch. Maybe it’s the way they can sit perfectly still, staring at absolutely nothing. Or it could be the way they get their midnight madness on by tearing around the house at breakneck speed. None of this stops most cats from also being perfectly adorable family pets – snoozing on the couch, being fluffy, and purring when they want to be fed. This list isn’t about those cats. This list deals with the cats that are sometimes monsters. Sometimes they’re guardians. Sometimes they’re out for revenge. And sometimes, they’re something cute and fuzzy to hold while everything is going to hell around you.
If there’s one point to take away from this list, it’s that cats shouldn’t be underestimated. Although it may be hard to believe that the same species that will chase the tiny red dot of a laser pointer until running head-first into a wall could be the instrument of your impending destruction or the only thing that saves your ass from something supernaturally evil, don’t sell your furry companions short! Here, in no particular order, are nine cats from some seriously creepy shit.
9) Clovis, Sleepwalkers
Though feeding on the life-force of young virgin women seems like a very specific diet choice, that’s exactly what sustains the wandering supernatural shape-shifting energy vampire humanoid cat-people in this 1992 film. The two Sleepwalkers that invade a sleepy Indiana town are Charles and Mary, who maintain the kind of relationship for which there probably isn’t a name (incestubestipedophiliality?) while trying to hunt down unsuspecting virgins. Unfortunately for them, alert deputy’s cat Clovis can see through the illusions of the Sleepwalkers and knows what they really are. When Charles attacks Clovis’ owner and kills him, the cat rises to the occasion and inflicts serious wounds with his tiny but powerful kitty claws. When Charles’ mother Mary slaughters almost the entire sheriff’s department and kidnaps her son’s chosen virgin in order to save his life, Clovis rallies the town cats and tears the Sleepwalkers to shreds.
8) Jonesy, Alien
You might think of Jonesy as a peripheral character, but at least he was able to survive all the way to Aliens, which is more than we can say for most of his human crewmembers. Along with providing some much-needed cuddles to Ripley, he also gave us a number of “Gotcha!” false alarms. He briefly served as a sort of alien-warning system – though sadly, the same humans that were dumb enough to bring a guy with a giant space bug attached to his face back onto the ship were also too stupid to understand that Jones’ hissing and growling actually meant, “Turn around, you moron! There’s a goddamned monster behind you!” You’d think that seeing an alien explode out of their colleague’s chest and skitter away right in the middle of dinner would have given them a clue as to how sincerely fucked they all were, and thus inspire them to pay a little more attention to urgent inter-species communication, but hey – live and learn, right? Or not.
7) The Black Cat from Neil Gaiman’s “The Price”
?Ever wondered what your cat meets when it goes out at night? In Neil Gaiman’s short story, the narrator’s big black cat spends all of his nights outside, and starts coming in each morning with fresh wounds. The family, being concerned about their pet’s welfare, takes him to the vet and treats his injuries. The cat continues to be hurt, and soon his wounds are so bad that the narrator and his wife decide to keep him in the basement so that he can recover. For each night the cat stays indoors, bad things start happening to the family. Their young daughter slips in the bath and almost drowns. The narrator’s wife totals the car after hitting a deer, sustaining a small injury herself. When they let the cat out again, the narrator stakes out the front porch with some night-vision binoculars, determined to see what sort of creature the cat keeps fighting. He finds that the black cat has been defending his family against the Devil, which doesn’t come every night, but comes most nights. They know it from the injuries they see, and they wonder how much the black cat has left to give.
6) The Village Cats from by H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Cats of Ulthar”
?Ulthar is a small village, home to an old couple that enjoys trapping and killing any cat that dares to tread on their property. The townspeople know that in order to keep their family cats from suffering an awful fate, they must keep them from wandering to close – the screams of the dying animals make that plain enough. No one in the village dares to confront the old couple, however – it’s not too far-fetched to think that they would happily harm people, too. Menes, an orphan traveling with a group of strange wanderers passing through the village, loses a small kitten – his only friend in the world. After hearing of his beloved pet’s probable fate at the hands of the old cotter and his wife, he utters a prayer before leaving. The next day, all of the village cats go missing. The innkeeper’s son sees the cats pacing around and around the old couple’s house, and the next morning the cats are back in their respective homes, extremely well-fed. When the townspeople investigate the old cotter’s house, they find nothing but two human skeletons, picked clean. This should be a lesson to everybody – don’t maim, torture, or murder cats. Not only does it make you a terrible person, it could come back to bite you in the ass in a big way.
5) The Black Cat from Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Black Cat”
?Poe’s classic short story is the narrator’s (a self-professed animal lover and super-nice guy) account of a series of events that led to his impending execution. We’re disinclined to believe in his niceness when he says that alcohol led him to abuse his wife and many of their pets. One night he grabbed his cat Pluto, and the startled cat bit him. The narrator took out his pen knife and gouged out one of the cat’s eyes. Understandably, Pluto avoided him after that, and the narrator decided to hang his once faithful pet from the tree in the yard “out of remorse”. They get another cat – a black cat with one eye and a large white patch on its chest in the shape of a gallows. Eventually the narrator gets pissed at this cat, too, and tries to kill it with an axe. When his wife attempts to stop him, he turns the axe on her. In order to bury his crime, he stows her body in a hole in the wall and bricks it up. The cat is nowhere to be found. When the police come to investigate, he lets them in, thinking there’s no way he can get caught. Imagine his horror when a mysterious wailing emits from behind the new brickwork. The police quickly tear the wall down, and the narrator discovers that he’d bricked up the cat along with the body of his dead wife. Karma’s a bitch.
4) General, Cat’s Eye
This little tabby just can’t catch a break. After being chased by Cujo and nearly run over by Christine, General is snatched by an employee of Quitters, Inc. – a treatment program that is deadly serious about keeping its clients from sneaking a cigarette after they sign on. General is used to help James Woods quit smoking, in that he’s cruelly subjected to electric shocks as a demonstration of what would happen to Woods’ family if he should slip. Ultimately, Woods succumbs to his craving for nicotine, and the Quitters, Inc. thugs subject his wife to fun with electricity. In his next little adventure, General crosses a busy street while a casino tycoon bets on whether or not the cat will be flattened. After General makes it across in one piece the tycoon takes General back to his penthouse, where the cat has front row seats to the guy’s next wager – which involves forcing his estranged wife’s lover to circumnavigate the tiny ledge outside his top-floor apartment. When the tables are turned, however, the casino tycoon is unable to keep his balance. General finally makes it to young Drew Barrymore’s house, where he protects her from an ugly troll trying to steal her breath while she sleeps. General has a close call when the troll kills the family bird and frames him for it – Drew’s mom takes him down to the animal shelter where he’s scheduled to be euthanized. General makes it back to the little girl’s side just in time to send the troll flying from a record player into a fan, where the troll is chopped into bits to the speeded-up tune of “Every Breath You Take.”
3) Church, Pet Sematary
Poor Church (short for Winston Churchill – he’s a British Shorthair) never asked to become a zombie cat. After his family moves to a rural New England farmhouse next to a remarkably busy highway, he becomes a casualty of the speeding trucks while his owner, young Ellie, is visiting her grandparents with her mother. When her father, Louis, discovers the cat’s body, his slightly odd neighbor Jud suggests burying him in the ground beyond the small Pet Sematary near his home in order to spare Ellie from having to confront the death of her beloved pet. Well, Church comes back, but he comes back wrong. He smells of decomposition, and his once friendly personality has done a 180 – he’s now Psycho Zombie Kitty with the creepy glowing eyes. Louis should have stopped there, but when his young son Gage is hit by another truck on the same road, his terrible grief drives him to try burying him in the same unclean ground. Gage comes back even more wrong than Church, though, and proceeds to murder Jud in a game of hide-and-seek (after slicing his Achilles tendon) and then stabs his own mother in the eye. After dispatching zombie Church and zombie Gage with morphine, Louis (a very slow learner) buries his wife in the ground beyond Pet Sematary. It’s sad to think that all this might have been prevented had the highway patrol just set up a damn speed trap on that road.
2) Black Cat, Coraline
Coraline is unimpressed by her new home, despite the fact that she shares it with some interesting, albeit odd, people – a pair of retired actresses and the Crazy Old Man Upstairs. When she discovers a night-time portal into the Other World, however, it’s the nameless black cat that lets her know what kind of danger she’s in. While she encounters “Other” versions of her parents and neighbors, the cat explains that cats are better at keeping themselves together – he’s always himself. Though he trembles at the thought of being trapped in the Other Mother’s world permanently, he’s still defiant and helps Coraline discover how to defeat her. He prompts Coraline to challenge the Other Mother to a game, knowing that “her kind” can never resist a good game. Coraline risks her freedom in order to find her parents and the souls of three children who were trapped in the Other World as previous victims of the Other Mother. In order to escape with the snow globe that contains her parents, Coraline throws the black cat at the Other Mother (a launched cat is never a happy cat), and is able to return to her own world.
1) Francis from Akif Pirincci’s Felidae
When Francis moves into a new neighborhood with his owner, he discovers that the old fixer-upper they now live in holds some dark secrets. His suspicions are aroused when he discovers the body of a murdered cat in the next yard – and being a cat, he can’t help but investigate. What he finds is an insane cat cult, some feline neighborhood thugs, and an abandoned research laboratory in the basement of his new building. Among the wreckage of the old lab he finds the journal of Dr. Preterius, who was trying to perfect a bonding agent that would hold any type of flesh wound closed. The doctor performed countless horrific and painful experiments on cats, including a cat called Claudandus. Claudandus is the unseen leader and idol of the insane cat cult, and as Francis reads Dr. Preterius’ account of his terrible experiments, he can see the doctor’s descent into madness written plainly on the pages of the journal. He knows that the madness must have infected Claudandus’ mind as well. He finds that the murders of the local cats are all in service of Claudandus’ goal of producing a master race – and Francis must find a way to stop him. Though this book was adapted into an animated film, it is not for the children! Unless you happen know your kids won’t be scarred by the sight of severed cat heads, cats electrocuting themselves, and the idea of killing sub-standard members of an entire species.