I always had a love for animals - pretty much all animals. As a child I had dogs, birds, a rabbit, a snake, a few turtles, and an alligator (this was back in the 50's when one could buy baby turtles and alligators all along the coast of Mississippi). But we never had cats. Mama told me I was allergic. Don't think I was... but I do sneeze a lot (so maybe).
When DH and I got married and were living in the married student apartments at LSUBR, we were 22 and had 2 Siamese kittens (Emily and Jai). From that time on (from Louisiana to Florida to Texas), we have always had cats. Cats and kids have kept our lives full... of laughter (and tears)... but mostly joy.
At one time, we had 8 inside cats (a bit much) but they needed help, so what can you do? And they all got along... I have pictures of all 8 lined up in a row on our bed. Over the years we decided 3 inside was about right - when it came to caring for them (vaccinations, food, litter, attention, etc.)
So now in our twilight (?) years, we have 3 inside and quite a few feral ones that frequent our backyard. These are given food, water, and what shelter our yard provides. Would we like to take more in, sure. But it's not practical at our age. We have done the catch, vaccinate, and release program over the years, but now simply provide what care we can.
But I truly can't imagine not having a cat. They each have their own personalities and watching them emerge as kittens to adult cats is fascinating. We took them all in at only a few weeks old. Tux (one of our black and whites) is so bonded with me that he is by my side when I'm home 24/7. He is also extremely sensitive and easily hurt - if I lean down to pet one of the others when he is on my lap, he will go off in a huff. That's Tux. Julie, his sibling is half his size and full of beans. She loves to play, run around, and knock things down. If you throw her a mouse, she will jump up and catch it in her paws. Unlike Tux, she (and Ghost) are not lap cats... although Julie has her moments. Ghost now is a strange cat. She has genetic kidney problems and was not supposed to live past her first year. She is 12 now and although generally a very sweet cat, is also a bit psycho. There are times when she will hiss and growl for apparently no reason... it doesn't last long, but we've never been able to figure out why it happens. She also doesn't jump on things, watches TV, watches iPhone videos, and loves me to do a shadow show on the wall.
As I said... can't imagine not having them around.
This post is longer than I planned... so I won't go into my thoughts about art today. I'll post that another day. Thanks for listening to my early morning ramblings.