This page contains stories that have a dog or cat as a main character or one of them plays an important role in the plot.
See also Animals
For stories where animals talk or are stand-ins for humans, see Allegories
A Dark-Brown Dog | Stephen Crane
A dog follows a small boy home, even though the boy tries to scare the dog away with beatings. They become close, but the other members of the family continue to treat the dog badly.
How to Touch a Bleeding Dog | Rod Kessler
A man takes a dog to the vet when it gets hit by a car. He’s responsible for it, but it’s not his—it’s his wife’s, but she is no longer with him.
In the Zoo | Jean Stafford
A visit to a zoo reminds two sisters of a childhood friend, an alcoholic with a lot of animals, who gave them a puppy. Their foster mother had a bad effect on the dog.
The Baron’s Wonderful Dog | R. E. Raspe
A hunter goes out looking for partridges with his wife, his lieutenant, a servant, and his dog. When he comes across some partridges, he finds that only his dog is still with him.
Read “The Baron’s Wonderful Dog” (Pg 577)
To Build a Fire | Jack London
In the Yukon, a man is traveling on foot with a husky in the wilderness to meet some acquaintances. It’s – 75 degrees and even though he’s careful, he breaks through some ice and soaks his boots, necessitating a fire.
The End of Old Horse | Simon J. Ortiz
Two brothers, Native American boys, go to a creek to fish and keep cool on a hot day. On their way, they see Old Horse, a dog, tied up, straining excitedly against his rope. They tell the owner, but he says to ignore it.
A Fire-Fighters Dog | Arthur Quiller-Couch
Chance, a dog, lives near a fire station in London. He goes there repeatedly despite being brought home by his master. Eventually, he is allowed to stay.
Read “A Fire-Fighters Dog” (Use Ctl + F to find title)
Uncle Dick’s Rolf | Georgiana M. Craik
Uncle Dick tells the story of when he and his dog Rolf were out walking on a perfect African summer day. Dick decides he wants to go for a swim. As he undresses, Rolf interferes, excitedly jumping up at him and trying to drag him away from the river bank.
Read “Uncle Dick’s Rolf” (Pg 68)
Ulysses and the Dogman | O. Henry
The streets of New York are full of men obligated to take their dogs for a walk. Two men who haven’t seen each other in five years, Jim and Sam, meet up and decide they need a drink.
Memoirs of a Yellow Dog | O. Henry
A yellow dog briefly narrates its life story. It comes to live with an annoying woman with a henpecked husband. He feels an affinity to the man and tries to help them both.
The Philanthropist and the Happy Cat | Saki
Jocantha Bessbury is a comfortable and contented wife. She suspects that only her cat, Attab, is more contented than herself. Wanting to spread good cheer, Jocantha decides to buy theatre tickets and give them away to a shop girl who couldn’t afford them on her own. Meanwhile, the cat goes about his usual routine.
Edward the Conqueror | Roald Dahl
A woman rescues a stray cat that seems to show appreciation for the piano music she plays. She comes to believe that the cat is the reincarnation of a famous composer.
Tobermory | Saki
At a party at a country house, a guest announces that he can teach animals to speak. As proof, he produces the host’s cat, Tobermory, who proceeds to embarrass the guests by revealing details of private conversations.
The Cat | Banjo Paterson
The narrator explains the character of cats and how they get satisfaction from life. He contrasts the cat’s behavior in a domesticated and a free environment.
The Cats of Ulthar | H.P. Lovecraft
In the town of Ulthar, an old couple takes pleasure in killing any cats that stray onto their property. The townspeople are afraid of them and stay away, but when a kitten from a group of travelers goes missing, they take action.
An Incident | Anton Chekhov
Two children wake up one morning, tired and unmotivated, until they hear that the cat has had kittens. The children become focused on the kittens, losing interest in their usual activities. The rest of the family doesn’t care very much.
The Garden of Stubborn Cats | Italo Calvino
As a city in Italy has expanded, it has restricted the movement of cats. On his lunch break, Marcovaldo follows a cat and discovers some of its world, eventually finding a garden of cats on an undeveloped piece of land.
Cat in the Rain | Ernest Hemingway
An American couple is on vacation in Italy. The wife looks out the window at the rain and sees a cat huddled under a table. She wants to go down and take it in out of the rain.