“I had walled the monster up within the tomb!”
I couldn’t help but shudder at the story of Richard Parsons, a funeral director from Ugborough, near Plymouth in Devon, whose builders uncovered a 400-year-old mummified cat in the wall of his cottage’s bathroom. It immediately evokes the terrifying climactic twist of Edgar Allan Poe’s tale, The Black Cat, in which the narrator’s murderous deed is betrayed by his once-beloved ‘moggy’. Cheerfully, there was no human body within this particular cavity to go with the cat.
Mr Parsons, who plans to replace the cat in the wall, much to the horror of his wife, said of his new ‘pet’: “Apparently 400 years ago people put cats behind walls to ward off witches. It clearly works as, since we have lived in the village, we have not seen sight or sound of any witches.” Witches… walled-up cats… the house of a funeral director… how inspiring. I might move to Devon, actually. And not just to be near my mum.