I had my first dog when I was 5 years old. It was from a friend of my mum's. She was white, had one blue eye, and was a mixed Dachshund-Spitz. We named her Pansy, for her blue-ish eye.
Pansy was later joined by Bronco, a mixed Dachshund-Dunno-what. When Bronco got hit by a car (it was a hit-and-run), we got another dog named Sheba, a mixed Dalmatian-Dunno-what. We subsequently had Princess, a pure-bred Dachshund and then Hazel, another pure-bred Dachshund.
Pansy led a long-life of about 12 years. Bronco's life was shorter-lived, as was Princess, who died as a puppy. Sheba is now about 8 years old, and Hazel is about 7.
In between all this, we had Baby, a cat I inherited from my aunt when she moved. Baby lived with us for about 6 years before we had to euthanize him because he had oral cancer.
As you can see, I've had animals nearly my whole life. Moving away to Canada was difficult for one reason in particular: I missed having them around.
I always stop and look whenever I pass all the dogs wherever I am, whether in university, in town, or out on the nature trails. I will even play with them if their owners look friendly enough that I can ask.
I love visiting homes of people who have animals. If they have cats, I will happily snuggle up to them.
Now that I've moved out of university-residence, one thing keeps popping into my head. I want an animal-companion. I know I can't afford a dog and I know I don't have the time to keep walking them...
But a cat...Cats are, by nature, more independent; I don't have to walk them and they can use a kitty-litter. They also cost way less by virtue of the fact that if you're gone for a whole night, you don't have to board them (just leave enough food and fresh water all over the place and fresh litter), and also because they eat way less.
I know people will say I'm nuts for getting something that I'm completely responsible for (cost, health, boarding when I'm away etc.), but I am actually considering this because I miss them terribly. And I am definitely happier when I'm around them.
I'll have to eventually get my own place if and when I get a job (I'm now living with my aunt). Is it that crazy to come home stressed out from work wanting to cuddle with a cat? Sure, cats can be very aloof, but if you start them young thinking you're their companion, it works!
Honestly, the ONLY issue I can think of right now is if I were to go home or anywhere else for a vacation. What do I do with my cat then?