Catch Me If You Can, ASPCA

After writing a series of no-nonsense and often scathing profiles of various animals, I thought it would only be fair to give the animals in my life a chance to profile me.

Here is what they had to say:

“Kathleen Hale should be in a prison for human monsters. When she was five, she squeezed me until I died. Afterward, she told her mother that she had wanted to hug me, but couldn’t get close enough — and so somehow the whole thing was forgiven. Would I have been so quickly pardoned if I had bitten off her finger? I wish I had. She’s a murderer who crushed my spine in her tiny, sticky hands.” —PJ the hamster

“Kathleen’s family purchased me because they thought I was a boy hamster. After PJ’s death, one of my babies (his name was Robert) perished after Kathleen decided she wanted to ‘hold all the babies at once so that it’s like one normal-sized hamster in my hands!’ My children, rightly terrified, leapt from her clasped fingers onto the carpet. She was able to find most of them, and put them back into my cage. But Robert wandered into the floor vents, poor thing.” —DJ, PJ’s wife

“Do you know how uncomfortable it is for a golden retriever to wear soccer shorts? I have hip joints and a tail. I hated ‘dress up.’ I tried to eat the human clothes off my own body. But Kathleen would laugh and laugh. Then she would take my front paws and force me to dance on two legs. The whole thing was freakish. Eventually I found rat poison in the neighbor’s garage and ate the whole pile just to feel the sweet release of death.” —Quinn the dog

“She put the wrong wood chips in my cage, and when I developed respiratory problems, she attempted to cure me by putting my entire face into her asthma inhaler and delivering two fatal pumps. After the life had left my body, she had the gall to weep and throw a garish funeral in my honor, to which all her stuffed animals (strangers to me) were invited.” —Janet the rat

“She never fed us. One time I heard her say we were boring because she couldn’t hug us — as if one’s right to life could be measured by one’s ability to be cuddled by that beastly creature! Unbelievable.” —Various fish

“She repeatedly put a baby’s sock on my head. She thought it was funny because my fur was very fluffy, but my skull was small. I wouldn’t know it, because I never saw myself that way, because I always had a sock on my head, which rendered me blind. The worst part is that I am now so elderly that I often forget what she smells like, and inadvertently snuggle with her. It is only afterward, when the dog tells me I was just purring on the lap of my one-time torturer, that the full weight of my trauma sinks in, and I fall onto the sun-drenched carpet, paralyzed by flashbacks.” —Olive the cat

“Instead of setting me free into the wild, Kathleen constructed a ‘girlfriend bunny’ for me out of fabric. In my opinion it takes a certain kind of naiveté verging on psychopathy to think that scraps of cloth can cure primal heartache.” —Mr. Nibbles the rabbit

“I don’t know her very well yet.” —Ike, Kathleen’s new dog