I'm not what you would call a cat-lover, or even an animal-lover. I like dogs when they are well-trained, but I wouldn't have one because I don't want to commit to The Daily Walk--even though I habitually exercise early in the morning, I like to think it's because I choose to do it, not because I have to.
My daughter really likes cats. She was much too young (2 1/2) when my husband brought home the first kitten. But she not only loved that kitten, she really became convinced that she was a cat herself. Maybe the way birds think the first large moving object they see is their mother, she saw that cat as a sibling on some elemental level. That kitten was given away after about 6 months when we moved out of state, but the idea was firmly planted in Danielle's mind.
I never supported the idea of having a cat, because I was always the one buying the catfood, changing the litter box, paying for the shots, etc. But Danielle always wanted one, and at some point during middle school I told her if she got straight A's she could have one. She achieved that goal about halfway through high school. She was thrilled to have her own cat at last, and was pretty good about taking care of her. Now, while Danielle is at college, the cat is all mine.
Lily. She's all black except for the tips of her paws and her whiskers, and a little white bib. She is a small cat, she's energetic but serene, independent but also cuddly. She's the perfect cat. She's on my lap right now while I'm typing this. But if I needed to get up, she would jump down and go on with her life, with no whining.
I give Danielle full credit for choosing Lily out of all the possible candidates at the animal shelter. I've known different cats--some are all over you all the time, waking you up when you want to sleep, getting between your feet when you want to cross the room, climbing the curtains, undecorating the Christmas tree. Some are shy and standoffish, won't let anyone pet them, disappear for days at a time. Some do nothing but eat and sleep. Danielle picked the right one. I wouldn't miss Lily if she weren't here, but I don't mind having her hanging around. She's a good cat.