I have had pets most of my life, although I must say when I've had bouts of being single, I've avoided having pets. At those times I was either living where they weren't allowed, or I just didn't want the obligation of having to return home to feed one, or whatever. I could stay away from the house without worry. Now, it's a different story. I'm attached. And attached to, evidently.
Cats have us. Four of them. I love them, I really do. My lady love had three cats and a dog already when she added me to the menagerie. We lost one cat and the dog along the way, and added two more cats. So, the current count is four cats. All neutered males.
Oldest is Simba. He's a reddish tan tabby my step-son brought home when both were much younger. He's a bit codependent and needy, as well as being the one most likely to be underfoot. He's also the one most often asking to be fed, then promptly tossing his cookies in unhandy places. (By the way, I'm talking about the cat here, not the step-son, although, now that I think about it... well... never mind.) Add to that Simba's propensity for forgetting to use the cat box, and it makes life interesting. Oh, yeah, he dislikes doing his business outside, and comes inside to do it. We have two large litter boxes, sometimes it doesn't seem like nearly enough.
Next in age is Salem. My partner, Cat Dancing, was at a retreat in Missouri, not far from the town of Salem many years ago, when a car arrived bearing a hitch hiking kitten. The retreat was held at a dog sanctuary, not a great place for a kitten. Someone rescued the kitten, Cat made friends with it and brought it home. Salem is the boss cat of the menagerie. He's the cool, calm, collected one who knows his regal place and allows the rest of us to serve him. Salem is a black and white tuxedo cat. Rarely any fuss or trouble.
Panthera is next. We originally got two kitten rescues, Panthera and Pongo, together. Panthera is a solid black short-hair. I labeled him with the imaginative nick-name, Goober. Don't tell anyone! He's a real character. We also call him the inspector, he's always into everything, especially spell working, or tarot reading. Very witchy cat. He's also a bit of a bad boy. He's the one least likely to come inside when it's time to each evening. We let the oldest three out during the day, usually, but bring them in at night, Panthera is the kid going "ahh, c'mon, Ma, just a few more minutes!" We lost his playmate Pongo, a Siamese mix, to neighbor dogs some time back before he was grown.
Last is Meixa, pronounced "Meeka". He's another Siamese mix, seal point. Meixa is still a kitten. He was another rescue we got very small. It took awhile for him to trust us, now he's quite cuddly, and very rambunctious. He usually draws any or all of the other cats into wild chases and wrestling matches through the house. Amazing how such small animals can sound like stampeding buffalo at times! Meixa also likes to chew paper and cardboard boxes, a trait he shares with the late Pongo. Meixa took up shredding some boxes where Pongo left off. Cat wanted a lap cat when she got Meixa, but while he's cuddly at times, joining us in bed, he rarely will settle in a lap. He chooses, instead, to seek us out for attention when one of us is sitting on the porcelain throne deep in thought.
Any or all of the cats may be in bed with us during the night, causing us to adjust the placement of our feet. Getting up in the dark can be an adventure, or maybe a mine field, between furry speed bumps and the occasional messy surprise. Several of the cats also like to help me feed the aquarium fish, ready for another episode of kitty television, I suppose. Each one of them is a totally different individual, and they keep us guessing.