I will never understand people who don't love animals. Some animals don't lend themselves to love, granted, like reptiles or insects, for example. (Ha! As I was writing this, Sprinkles hopped on my keyboard and deleted my last sentence.) But mammals are inherently loveable. They bond to other mammals and that's endearing as heck. (Speaking of endearing, Sprinkles is now playing with Bea's tail.)
The Dude and I have now put in five weeks with our kittens. They were shy, introverted and skittish. They've really blossomed into sweet kitties who now eat, sleep and play in front of us. They'll now allow us to hold and pet them. They have recently begun to seek out love. That's my favourite part.
It's been an effort. We've essentially been taming them. We've been making them our kittens. They now know and trust us. And now no one in the world loves them like we do. It's not just the cuddles and the hilarity of watching your pets' antics. It's the relationship. It's such a simple one of caretaker and benefactor, but it's rewarding and satisfying. The goal of cat ownership is to make the cat as happy as possible.
Dogs need to know their place in the order of things. Rabbits need security and routine. Parrots need companionship.
Cats need worship. The more you spoil your cat, the better cat you'll have. The more it'll seek you out, rub against your legs, jump on your lap, sleep with you at night. I like that about them. You can't spoil a dog too much or the dog will spoil you (mostly your furniture). You can't spoil a child or you'll create a monster. But any urge you may have to indulge or pamper another living creature can be channelled into a cat and will create a more loving and affectionate kitty. In fact, the less you spoil your cat, the less your cat will want to do with you.
I have a nurture instinct. I want kids, and I don't believe in spoiling children. But the free-for-all in fussing over my kittens is very satisfying. And I'll admit it, it's also a way of having dependent and loving little creatures to care for in the absence of having my own kids. But even after I do have them, my kitties will have their place. When you devote this much time and energy into creating love, it's for keeps.