The Poisoned Pussycat at the Party
A woman was having a buffet dinner in her elegant home. The centerpiece was a large baked salmon. The woman turned away for a moment, then looked back and saw her cat nibble at the salmon. She put the cat out the back door and placed parsley over the bite marks.
The party was a big success. The maid opened the back door to let in some air and discovered the dead cat on the back porch. The hostess had to tell her guests the cat was dead, presumably from food poisoning from eating some of the salmon. All the party rushed to the local hospital to have their stomachs pumped.
The next day the woman’s neighbor came over to offer her apologies. She said that during the party last night she had unknowingly backed her car over the cat, killing it. She had left the dead cat on the back porch so not to spoil the woman’s party.
This urban legend has been around since about 1939. It has been in joke books, newspaper columns, and oral tradition.
An example of the poisoned-pet legend is the 1989 film “Her Alibi," in which the cat is thought to have died from eating contaminated stew.