I don't even remember what we called that cat. We had it for a couple weeks and then it ran away. I didn't mourn.
I always feel bad when I excise a portion of a story from a novel I am writing. I can tell when I have to. I'll be chugging along on the story and then for a week or two I won't hardly be able to write a word. That's my computer screen telling me I've gone down a wrong path.
I am all for the whole write so many words a day rule. I buy into that maxim wholeheartedly, but I also think you have to listen to the story when it tells you that you are starting to make it suck. I say this because I might be at a part in the novel I am currently writing where it is telling me I'm an idiot. I'm not sure yet, but I might have to backtrack and cut some stuff I have written.
I always cut/paste this stuff into another document and then save it in the same folder labeled didn't make the cut. It's interesting to go back to this once the novel is finished and wonder what if. I'm always glad I listened to the story. I've taken some drastic turns as a result of these deletions and I've never regretted it.
Still, it's sad to revisit story threads that could have been but never will. They seem sad.