E. F. Benson
The Cat is an odd story about a young man who suffers a severe shock reaction to the unexpected ending of his engagement. Initially he is thrown into a deep depression which lasts several months, but then all of a sudden something snaps in his brain and he undergoes a phenomenal transformation. Not only does his depression leave him, but he becomes suddenly upbeat and sees the world in richer colours and with greater clarity. Moreover, he develops an unprecedented genius for portrait painting which makes him famous overnight. But then his ex-fiancée asks him to finish the portrait he has started of her. At first he copes well with the renewed acquaintance, but he becomes increasingly frustrated at his inability to capture the cat-like quality of his former beloved's eyes. He repairs to his retreat in the country to concentrate on the background of the portrait, but there he encounters a grey cat whose eyes are uncannily reminiscent of those of his lover. Edward Frederic Benson (1867 - 1940) was an English novelist, biographer, memoirist, archaeologist and short story writer, best known as the true master of the gothic ghost story.