When I first renovated my home I was warned that my wooden laminate flooring won’t be very accommodating for dogs. Also, because I am not a big fan of small pooches, (my dog from my teenage years was a big brown mongrel), I felt that dogs were not going to be possible in this home of mine.

My cat ownership days started with Slinky adopting herself to me. She was then a young slinky kitten, and through the years she has gotten to know me, and started following me home.

I felt that a cat was all right to have, they being very easy to upkeep because they self-clean, and use litter trays instead of newspapers which is rather messier. Also, cats don’t mind your not being around most of the day, and at the time being a workaholic, I knew cats were better suited for my lifestyle. At least you don’t have to walk your cat everyday.

Potential pet owners should take note of their own lifestyle and personality before selecting a pet companion. If you like to go out for walks, jogs or blading, then dogs are definitely your thing. If you like slobbering attention when you come home instead of a pet sitting at your door, wishing you a silent welcome, then you definitely want a dog. Cats can be vocal and affectionate too, but just not as passionately as dogs.

You also have to realise that kittens and puppies are going to be playful, but as they grow older they tend to become more sedentary. You have to make allowance for these growth changes if you want to start rearing animals from young. There was a cocker spaniel at the pet shop the other day, abandoned by his owners, because they got a new puppy and didn’t want to keep him anymore because he had grown up. Children should not be encouraged to do ‘out with the old, in with new’ when it comes to pets! Imagine if we decided to go the hospital and said, ‘My baby is now an adult, I want a refund so I can have another baby. I don’t want this grown-up thing anymore.’ Well, it is the same thing.

Another reason as to the question ‘why cats’, is that I only ever adopt animals, I never will buy them. Because the stray animals around here are mostly cats, cats it shall be. If Slinky was a dog, I would have taken her in anyway.

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