What is the name of Lovecraft’s cat?

What is the name of Lovecraft's cat

What is the name of Lovecraft’s cat?

H.P. Lovecraft was an American author who lived from 1890 to 1937. His writings are often described as ‘bizarre,’ ‘horror,’ and ‘weird.’ Due to the uniqueness of his tales, many readers questioned Lovecraft’s own sanity. His works have had a profound impact on popular culture.

Just so you know, Lovecraft was a very racist man. Now, Lovecraft did not hold all white people in uniform high regard but rather esteemed the English people and those of English descent.

He praised non-WASP groups (White Anglo Saxon Protestants) such as Hispanics and Jews; however, his private writings on groups such as Irish Catholics, German immigrants, and African-Americans were consistently negative. Just some food for thought.

The name of the cat, “Nigger Man“, has often been cited in discussions of Lovecraft’s racial attitude.

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What is the name of Lovecraft's cat
What is the name of Lovecraft’s cat?

Lovecraft owned a cat by that name until 1904. The cat had likely been given its name when Lovecraft was about age 9.

When Lovecraft was 5 years old he was given a cat with a racial epithet for a name. Being 5, it’s doubtful that he named it, but that it was named by his parents or other adult relatives.

Friends, he owned it until he was 14. He never owned another animal, but he did make friends with many strays, which he gave such names as “Little Sam Perkins” and “Old Man”.

He invented a fraternity for the strays to belong to and filled his letters with the antics of the members of the Kappa Alpha Tau (Kompson Ailouron Taxis, or Company of Elegant Cats).

While there can be no question that HPL had racist beliefs, I don’t think the name of his childhood cat can be laid at his door, and he never called any other cat by an epithet name, though he did put the pet of his youth in two stories, THE CASE OF CHARLES DEXTER WARD and THE RATS IN THE WALLS.

What is the name of Lovecraft’s cat?

Lovecraft was racist. Which everyone should understand and accept. His cat’s name, when readers walk in his biography or “The Rats in the Walls”, often strikes us as cartoonist racists – but it has to be understood in context.

The name hits us today as we become more aware and less accepting of such accidental use of racial action, as they were in Lovecraft’s lifetime; In the same way, people get upset when they read the N-word in a Mark Twain novel.

As society has changed, the name is sometimes issued repeating “The Rats in the Walls”; Some publishers chose to rename the cat as something that maintains its understanding but not its racial connotations – “Blackie” and “Black Tom” (Jest magazine 1956) are two examples.

The N-word still has the power to hurt people. The fact that all the evidence shows that Lovecraft did not intend such use does not detract from it, in this case.

Those who read Lovecraft today – either about his imagination or his life – must do so with an understanding of the context in which he lived and wrote.

These are historical realities that we all must understand in our own way, and the use of a word can become more aggressive over time than it once was.

This is not in any way an attempt to reduce or excuse Lovecraft’s racism – the actual things he said with prejudice or in anger and ignorance – but his cat’s name, as good as it may be. Can make memes. The shock value it is today is not really a good example of it.

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HPL was known to have been fond of cats and owned several during his life.

That said, you’re probably asking about a particular name that he both applied to one of his cats and used it like a cat’s name in one of his stories.

The black cat in question, who either died or ran away in 1904, was named “Nigger-Man.”

HPL was known to have extremely racist views (this is borne out in his correspondence and by contemporaries), and at least one reprinting of the story in question changes the cat’s name entirely.


H.P. Lovecraft’s Cat refers to the cat named Nigger-Man owned by the family of the American horror fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft during his childhood.

Online, “H.P. Lovecraft’s Cat” has appeared in multiple Don’t Google posts which invite unsuspecting users to look up the name of the cat, luring them into reading a racial slur.


During American horror fiction writer Howard Phillips Lovecraft’s childhood, his family-owned several cats. The oldest of the cats, named Nigger-Man, which the family likely acquired and named in 1899, disappeared in 1904 when Lovecraft was 14 years old. In his correspondence, H. P. Lovecraft reminisces about the cat in several letters (extracts shown below).

What a boy he was! I watched him grow from a tiny black handful to one of the most fascinating & understanding creatures I’ve ever seen.

He used to talk in a genuine language of varied intonations–a special tone for every different meaning. There was even a special “prrr’p” for the smell of roast chestnuts, on which he dotes.

He used to play ball with me–kicking a large rubber sphere back at me from halfway across the room with all four feet as he lay on the floor.

And on summer evenings in the twilight he would prove his kinship to the elfin things of shadow by racing across the lawn on nameless errands, darting into the blackness of the shrubbery now & then, & occasionally leaping at me from ambush & then bounding away again into invisibility before I could catch him.

  • H.P. Lovecraft to Harry O. Fischer, 10 Jan 1937, quoted in H. P. Lovecraft: A Biography 40

And my old nigger-man was leaping in & out of the shadowy bushes, occasionally deigning to let his Grandpa Theobald pick him up, put his green shining eye to the telescope, & show him the critical surfaces of remote planets–where for all we know the dominant denizens may be lithe, quadrupedal, sable-furred gentlemen exactly like Nigger-Man himself!

What is the name of Lovecraft’s cat?

  • H.P. Lovecraft to Annie Gamwell, 19 Aug 1921, Selected Letters of H. P. Lovecraft 1.147

H. P. Lovecraft also made a tribute to the cat by giving its name to the cat in the 1923 short story The Rats in the Walls in 1924.[2] The cat’s name would be changed to “Blackie” or “Black Tom” in some of the later reprints of the story.

No known photographs of the cat exist, although in memes, a photograph of H. P. Lovecraft holding his friend Frank Belknap Long’s cat Felis is often used.

H.P. Lovecraft’s cat is an American horror fiction writer H.P. Refers to a cat named Nigger-Man. Lovecraft during childhood. Online, “H.P. Lovecraft’s Cat” has appeared in several Don’t Not Google posts that invite unmatched users to see the cat’s name, tempting them to read a racial slur.


While it is stated that Lovecraft owned a cat of that name until 1904, the name would later appear as a cat name in the short story The Rats in the Walls in 1924. The cat will be renamed to Black. Tom in later allusions to the story.

What is the name of Lovecraft’s cat?

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