L. T.'s Theory of Pets
|"L. T.'s Theory of Pets"|
Cover of the audiobook edition
|Genre(s)||Horror short story|
|Published in||Six Stories (1st release),
|Publisher||Philtrum Press (1st release)|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|This article does not cite any sources. (October 2008) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
L. T.'s Theory of Pets is a short story by Stephen King. It was originally published in the 1997 limited-edition collection Six Stories. In 2001, it was released as an audiobook with the recording of King reading the story live at Royal Festival Hall in London. In 2002, it was collected in King's collection Everything's Eventual.
The story is told from a first-person perspective about a working-class husband, who recalls a story told by L. T., a chatty co-worker who recalls the brewing trouble behind his marriage, attributed to pets purchased by L. T. and his wife. His wife purchased a dog for L. T. which in turn, disliked him instantly and sided with the wife, while L. T. purchased a cat for his wife, who immediately took to L.T. instead. Despite the fact that the dog and the cat get along fine, L. T. and his wife continuously argue, adding some irony. L.T.'s wife then leaves him and says she had gone to her mother's, but she never arrives. King reveals she had taken the dog with her, and that her car has been found abandoned on a roadside in Nevada. The only thing found was her dog, axed to death. It's revealed that a serial killer is on the loose in the area, who kills women by the use of an axe, known as the Axe Man. L.T. still has hopes she is alive, although it is unlikely.
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Stephen King said his story is inspired by a Dear Abby editorial about how giving people pets as gifts may be viewed as arrogance in certain circles, because it assuming the receiver can--and wants to--look after the pet. King himself briefly discusses how he received a Pembroke Welsh Corgi as a present, and has enjoyed its company ever since.