I'm not sure why this comes to mind. I'm sure I've done worse things. But whenever I try to decide on the single cruelest thing I've ever done, I always feel worst about the time when, as a kid, I was standing on a dock on a pond and my cat, Elliot, walked up to me. He rubbed up against my leg and purred happily. I bent down and scratched his head, stroked his fur, then picked him up and -- just because I thought it would be amusing -- threw him into the pond. He didn't realize what had happened at first, and then he understood what I had done, and he writhed in the air, tried to grasp something, and then fell into the water. He surfaced after a short time and swam to the shore, cold, soaked, and shivering. As soon as he had shaken the water off and licked himself, he came right back to me and rubbed up against my leg again, purring.

I burst into tears.