Seventeen new if not overly original stories guaranteed to give you paws--if not pause. There are several hate-the- wife/hubby/kids but love-the-cat tales, include Peter Lovesey's commuter's nightmare, Joan Hess's hunting-lodge destroy mission, David H. Everson's cat-custody case, and John Lutz's gruesome family plot. There are cats as heroes (Pronzini's ``Nameless'' meets Harold) and as villains (Christopher Fahy's metaphorical Venetian metamorphosis); there's a cat hair as a clue in Les Roberts's snappy ``Little Cat Feet,'' and cats as best friends of man (J.A. Jance, Bill Crider) and beast (Jon L. Breen's cat-and- horse story); there is even a cat as narrator in Dorothy B. Hughes's terminally cute ``Horatio Ruminates.'' Finally, there are poor cats (Barbara D'Amato's life in the subway), and the cat to make an ailurophobe squirm (William J. Reynolds's cuddlesome gifts to the needy). Nothing here to equal Edgar Allan Poe's cat, or even Lilian Jackson Braun's. Strictly for feline fanatics.