Stephen King’s (a well-known cat lover) 1985 comedy horror The Cat’s Eye is comprised of three stories: Quitters Inc., The Ledge and “General”. The only thing the three stories have in common is a travelling tabby tom cat. The first story, Quitters Inc. opens with the tabby tom trying to escape a gangling St. Bernard. The cat ends up downtown where it is beckoned to a window with a girl mannequin that asks the cat for help.
Right then the cat is grabbed and taken to a torture room at Quitters Inc. where it endures loud music and electrical shocks as an example of what will happen to the family members of a smoker, Dick Morrison, (James Woods), who sneaks cigarettes after quitting smoking.
The cat escapes Quitters Inc. and catches a ride on the Staten Island Ferry and ends up in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where he once again hears the voice of the young girl pleading for someone to help her. We see the cat trying to cross a very busy intersection and three gamblers bet on whether or not it will live to cross the road. The woman states that “all cats should be drowned” and bets that the cat will be hit by a car. Cressner, the casino owner, bets that the cat will live. Luckily, the cat scampers across the street and is scooped up by Cressner and taken home and given the name, Sebastian. Cressner finds out that the one time tennis pro Norris has been having an affair with his wife. He bets Norris that he will spare his life if he can circumnavigate the building on the outside ledge. Norris manages to survive only to find out that Cressner has killed his wife, Norris’ lover. The cat comes on the scene and knocks down Cressner’s body guard and Norris is able to turn the tables on the gangster making him now walk the ledge. Cressner was not so lucky and falls to his death owing to the insistent pecking of a pigeon. The cat once again escapes.
The travelling tom now catches a train to Wilmington, North Carolina, and finds a suburban home with an open door and runs inside. The little girl, Amanda (Drew Barrymore), begs her mother to keep the cat. The father mentions at breakfast that “cats steal children’s’ breath”, and the mother is concerned that the cat might attack their pet parakeet, Polly. The mother forbids Amanda to keep the cat inside at night, and as a consequence, General is unable to protect the girl from an evil troll that has been giving her nightmares and has been trying to suck the life out of her. The troll then sneaks into the house and kills the parakeet and successfully frames General for the death. Despite the protests of the girl that the cat had nothing to do with the demise of Polly, the mother entices the cat with a can of tuna and puts it in a box and takes it to the animal shelter where it will be killed the next day.
The troll strikes again and lucky General escapes the animal shelter to come to the little girl’s rescue before the troll is able to kill her. General kills the troll and Amanda convinces her parents that he has saved her. In the end, we see General kissing Amanda on her lips.