I'll confess I hated cats until I met Elwood and Hootie. They were part of a package deal with Hubby. Until I met those two, the only exposure I had to cats was my grandparents' cat. I can't remember her name but every time we visited she would pee in our suitcase and chew holes in our socks. She didn't like us and I didn't like her.
Elwood "claimed" me as soon as he met me. Hootie was another story. He is one jealous guy. He destroyed some of my things in protest and I've never let him forget about it. Now the cat accepts me and we have a decent relationship. He knows who buys the cat food so he pretends to like me.
Two cats were plenty... but then along came Sebastian. Hubby and I are suckers for animals in distress. Hubby found Sebastian on our porch during a heat wave. He gave Sebastian some water and made a friend for life. Sebastian simply decided to stay put and he's been a great pet. He is incredibly skittish around the girls, much to their disappointment. Whenever Tortilla sees Sebastian she runs toward him, hoping to pet him. She's getting better at realizing he's timid.
Three cats... sounds like a good number. Then came Morton. He had been hit by a car and our vet worked on him for free. Then the vet needed to find him a home and decided we looked like pushovers. She was right. He's the only cat we own that has his front claws, but it has never been an issue. He doesn't scratch the girls and that's what counts... but he will thump them on the head if they pester him.
Before our daughters were born Hubby and I both volunteered at an animal shelter. I can't tell you the number of times we wanted to bring home "just one more." Fortunately we had enough sense to realize five is too many. Four is probably too many for most people but I can't picture our house without any of these guys.
Pets are a huge responsibility, especially when kids are in the picture. My cats were pretty neglected for the first year of my daughters' lives. Oh, they always had food and water as well as a clean cat box, but they didn't receive a whole lot of attention. Fortunately my daughters are now at an age where they take an active role in caring for our cats. They help put out the food. They ALWAYS tell me when a cat has coughed up a hairball. They play with the cats and even give them hugs. It's pretty cute to see. Unfortunately they've been asking when we're going to buy a puppy....