Pets are great – they're cute, they love you immeasurably and sometimes you remember that they were once wild, then realise you basically have wild animals living in your home and that you're their master, which is very empowering. Occasionally, though, pets can be dicks and do awful, hateful things. Here are some stories about when that happens.
DOG FIGHTING DOBERMANS
I was at an ex-girlfriend of mine's house a couple of years ago, hanging out and watching TV, when her sister walked in with her two dobermans. Both their faces were covered in blood, like they'd just slaughtered a lamb and fed on its entrails. Nice dogs, Dobermans. The sister explained that "something really annoying had happened to [her]" while she'd been walking in Regent's Park that afternoon.
Apparently her two dickwad dogs had attacked and mauled a terrier to death in front of its devastated owner. The sister was laughing about how "random" the whole thing was, then started smirking about the terrier owner "crying like a little baby" because her dog had been obliterated in front of her. She seemed completely nonplussed about it, like she was telling an anecdote about a guy with a funny voice she'd heard on the tube. It was, without a doubt, the most troubling thing I have ever witnessed.
ARR! YOU SLAG!
It was around the time The Business came out and my flatmate and I had taken to talking like Danny Dyer a lot more than anyone ever should. If I remember right, "'ave it, my son", "alright, geezer?" and "you fackin' shlag" were our favourites. It's all very embarrassing now. My friend had a pet parrot, Neil, who, predictably, started picking up on some of the phrases as we continued to incessantly speak like everyone's favourite cockney Twitter philosopher.
One night, my friend had been out at some sink club in town and run into a girl he had a casual no-strings thing going with. The inevitable happened and they got a cab back to our flat, where they slumped straight on to the sofa and started going at each other. Like something out of a GCSE-scripted comedy short, Neil started squawking "YOU SHLAG! YOU SHLAG!" I wouldn't have believed my flatmate if Neil hadn't continued to screech that same phrase every fucking day for the next two years.
Surprisingly, that didn't deter the girl, so they carried on with Neil soundtracking their sexy, drunken fumble with torrents of chauvinistic abuse.
EUTHANASIA PROVES YOU CARE
I was 10 years old when that movie Valiant came out – the one about the plucky little wood pigeon who wants to join the army – and became obsessed with pigeons. A weird obsession for an 10-year-old, I guess, but my sweet parents totally supported me and bought me a homing pigeon, Valiant, for my eleventh birthday. I had the little guy for a few months and used to watch him potter around in his coop, then welcome him home whenever he flew back from one of his excursions.
One day, I went to check on him and saw he was hobbling, one of his wings was all fucked up and he didn't look particularly well, so – because I thought that pigeons were basically redundant if they couldn't fly – I decided to put Valiant out of his misery. Taking him out of his coop and placing him softly on the ground, I reached for a brick and threw it at him, hitting him square on the head.
He was still moving, so I chucked the brick at him again. I remember looking up then and seeing a neighbour peer out of her window at me, watching me slowly demolish a bird – that really had nothing wrong with it in the first place – with a stray piece of building material. I'm fully aware this story makes me sound like a psychopath, but I genuinely thought I was doing the best thing possible.
BOXING DAY LEFTOVERS
I was at my aunt and uncle's house in the countryside one year for Christmas with my parents and both my little sisters. My older cousin is like that guy everyone knew at school who was really into dissecting animals in biology and would invite you to his house, greet you in full camouflage, then open up on you with his gas-powered BB assault rifle. He owned a pet corn snake that he would let roam freely around the garage, which was a fucking nightmare every time you went in there to grab a can of Coke.
Anyway, his younger sister got a fluffly, little dwarf hamster on Christmas day, popped him in the cage my aunt and uncle had bought her and left him in the garage that evening. I woke up the next morning to the sound of deafening weeping, ambled downstairs and saw a slightly mangled, clearly regurgitated hamster dead on the garage floor.
I don't think I need to explain what happened.
PAINT THE TOWN BLUE
We'd just moved into a new house and my parents had spent the week they'd both taken off work painting every single room. Once the rooms that guests would conceivably see were finished, they organised a housewarming party and invited a load of people over, including a couple of business-type people who I presumed were important because my dad seemed very keen to impress them.
My mum spent all night preparing elaborate nibbles, arranging flowers and doing all the other stuff parents do when they want to show off a new home, and my dad and I set up a bar under a gazebo out in the garden. Everything was set – pristine – so we went off to bed, ready to wake up the next morning and welcome everyone round.
Walking downstairs the next morning, we found no less than six streaky piles of blue dog shit all over the kitchen and covering the carpet by the front door. We surmised that our dog must have got into one of the blue paint tins lying around, figured he quite liked the taste and lapped it all up, before his stomach did what any rational stomach would and rejected it. My mum FREAKED and my dad went very, very quiet, but we cleaned all the stuff in the kitchen up and got all the guests to come in through the back gate, so all was fine. Everyone was so relieved that things had gone smoothly that our dog just got off scott free, the cheeky, little bastard.
IT'S RAINING SCRATCHY CATS
My Mum hates pets because the idea of animals farting and leaving their pubes all over her house drives her insane. As a full-time mother and housewife, having a perfectly immaculate palace of a home is high on her list of priorities.
And yet, by some kind of miracle, when we were younger, my sister and I managed to convince my mum to let us have some kittens. The kittens were quite scratchy, but that's what kittens do, and, for the first couple of weeks, they didn't cause my mum's shrine any major damage.
Then I had to take it too far. After an afternoon of sibling arguments, my younger sister, who at the time must have been about six years old, was sleeping on the living room sofa. Seeing this as an opportunity to exact my revenge, I picked up one of the cats and dropped it on my little sister's sleeping face. The cat freaked out, my sister freaked out and I ran off. Luckily my sister still has both her eyes, even though the cat gave her face its best scratch attack effort. I’m glad I’ve been given an opportunity to share this terrible experience. Sorry, sis.