I realize that I have written much about beloved pets over the years. Face it; I pretty much love all critters –even the ones I eat.     But what about the other side? What about the furry little bundles of joy that inexplicably and inexorably metamorphose from adorable kittens or puppies to hairy little spawns of Satan you’d just as soon sell to an experimental lab as waste another dime feeding it?
    I’m telling you, as much as I’ve loved my animals, I have had a few that were all that.
    I suppose it really wasn’t their fault. Much of it has to do with the fact that animals are social people, too, and if you don’t spend time with them, they are going to get in trouble. Labs chew everything under the sun — often even while being watched and yelled at by their annoyed owners. Cats get into things, from kitchen cabinets to parked cars. Rabbits are famous for a profound lack of intelligence and personality coupled with an insatiable desire to munch on everything in site — including live lamp cords, expensive plants, and the occasionally human toe.
    Even a goldfish will, once in a great while, take a flying leap, obviously trying to imitate, say, a 40-pound chinook salmon climbing the Hoover dam, only to miss the bowl and disappear behind the couch, completely unfindable until it starts to put out that famous stench.
    Many years ago I had a cat, or rather, my idiot roommate brought a scrofulous stray kitten home, thinking it might be cool to have an animal around the apartment. This was fine for about three days. Then, the little son of a bachelor came out of its torpor and became possessed by some incubus from some unused corner of hell.
The cat had two really annoying characteristics. One, it would savagely attack my bare feet whenever I was trying to sleep on the couch. As a result, it logged more flight time than most student pilots do.
    The other was far worse. I don’t know if he was mentally retarded or if he was a product of hanging out with the wrong crowd when he was young. But he absolutely, positively refused to use the litter box. I’ve just never heard of such!
    You could watch him get into his pre-evacuatory three-point stance, rear end hunkered low to the carpet, tail flying high and twitching, back arched, little eyes slitted in almost orgiastic, onanistic frenzy. You could see this coming, snatch him up, and shove him into the middle of fresh, clean, right out of the factory kitty litter carefully poured and swept in a football field-sized litter box.
    He would give you a look, then promptly step out onto the carpet and proceed to unleash this absolutely horrendous, paint-peeling substance far more deadly than mere napalm — and twice as sticky.
He would always leave these little sculptures, say, right in front of a door, as though he knew someone would be coming soon and sweep it, in all its fetid glory, across the rug.
    You’ll have to use your imagination — but not very much — to guess what we named him. Put it this way; his first name rhymed with his last name, and his last name was “Kitty.”
    The vet couldn’t explain this problem either. Apparently, the little gator bait was perfectly healthy, physically.
One day he disappeared. I was not sorry, although I did stick my head out the door — okay, it was the bathroom door, and I was inside with the windows closed — and called for him a couple of times.
    Turned out, he had climbed into a car while the owner, a violent militant feminist cat-loving young woman who lived upstairs, was unloading groceries. She came by a couple of days later, polling the neighbors, saying she had found someone’s lost cat. She banged on my door, the cat struggling uselessly in her arms.
    “Is this your cat?”
    I shook my head. “Never seen him before in my life.”
    “Well, the little so and so used the side of my brand new car as a scratching post, and when I find out whose he is, they’re gonna be damned sorry.”
    “Wow. Sorry to hear that. I heard ABC Corporation buys animals for lab work. Want the number?”
    She gave me the standard number three, “Burn thee in the nether regions, oh jerk who stands to wee wee,” militant feminist look and went back to her business of banging on doors with a 12-pound crowbar.
I tried to do the right thing, though. I snuck out at about three in the morning, left a bag of food, a water dish, and the litter box on her front stoop, rang the bell, and ran like hell.
Not too long after that, I moved…