Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Wiki

The Cat's Paw is a story about a man who finds a large cat on his property, only to find out it's human after all. The story appears in More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Based on an Ozark folktale from Vance Randolph's Ozark Mountain Folks, originally called "The Cat's Foot."

The Cat's Paw

The Story

Somebody was stealing the meat Jed Smith kept in his smokehouse. Everyday a ham, or some bacon, or something else was missing. Finally, Jed decided he had to put a stop to it. One night he hid in the smokehouse with his rifle and waited for the thief.

He didn't have to wait long, for soon a black she-cat slunk in. She was the biggest cat Jed had ever seen. When she jumped up and pulled down a ham hanging from the ceiling, Jed grabbed his rifle and turned on the lights. But instead of running away, the cat jumped at him. He fired, and shot off one of her paws.

Jed was sure he heard a woman scream right after his gun went off. The cat began tearing around the room, spitting and yowling. Then she ran up the chimney and was gone. Jed stared at the cat's paw. Only it wasn't a cat's paw anymore. A woman's foot lay wriggling on the floor, all shot up and bloody.

"So it's a witch that's been doing it," he told himself. Just then one of Jed's neighbors, a fellow named Burdick, came racing down the road to get a doctor. His wife's foot had been shot in an accident, he told Jed. "She's bleedin' pretty bad," he said. The doctor got to her barely in time. People who were there when it happened say she was "spittin' and yowlin' just like a cat."


Scary Stories
to Tell in the Dark

Strange and Scary ThingsThe Big ToeThe WalkWhat Do You Come For?Me Tie Dough-ty Walker!A Man Who Lived In LeedsOld Woman All Skin and BoneThe ThingCold As ClayThe White WolfThe Haunted HouseThe GuestsThe Hearse SongThe Girl Who Stood on a GraveA New HorseAlligatorsRoom for One MoreThe WendigoThe Dead Man's BrainsMay I Carry Your Basket?The HookThe White GownHigh BeamsThe BabysitterThe ViperThe AtticThe Slithery-DeeAaron Kelly's BonesWait Till Martin ComesThe Ghost with the Bloody Fingers

More Scary Stories
to Tell in the Dark

Hoo-Ha'sSomething Was WrongThe WreckOne Sunday MorningSoundsA Weird Blue LightSomebody Fell From AloftThe Little Black DogClinkity-ClinkThe BrideRings On Her FingersThe DrumThe WindowWonderful SausageThe Cat's PawThe Voice"Oh, Susannah!"The Man In The MiddleThe Cat in a Shopping BagThe Bed by the WindowThe Dead Man's HandA Ghost in the MirrorThe CurseThe ChurchThe Bad NewsCemetery SoupThe Brown SuitBa-Rooom!Thumpity-Thump

Scary Stories 3:
More Tales to Chill your Bones

Boo MenThe AppointmentThe Bus StopFaster And FasterJust DeliciousHello, Kate!The Black DogFootstepsLike Cats' EyesBessHaroldThe Dead HandSuch Things HappenThe Wolf GirlThe DreamSam's New PetMaybe You Will RememberThe Red SpotNo, ThanksThe TroubleStrangersThe HogIs Something Wrong?It's Him!T-H-U-P-P-P-P-P-P-P!You May Be The Next...