:sad: My friend has a cat that unconditionally loves to take a bite out of her big toe while she's sleeping... does that count?
I love animals, and am sorry that many of them are put to sleep because they were originally adopted by people who couldn't care for them (or worse yet, mistreated them), but... like kids, they require lots of care, that not just everyone is able to give. Plus they often do damage to things (furniture, electric cords, etc...) some of which aren't exactly cheap to replace (even among cords, most devices you can't simply replace the cord). Not to mention the issues of fleas, possible offspring, vet bills, etc...
I think frankly, it's very cruel to animals in general for most of us to keep them as they are being kept. To keep a dog locked up in a house all day while everybody goes off to work, and give them a yard the size of a postage stamp in which to romp... That's just cruel. Of cats, anyone who owns one knows how much of the time you spend picking up the cat and moving it off of whatever it is you're doing (paper, book, computer monitor, etc..) because you're too busy to pay it any real attention.
I think animals are wonderful companions for those who have the time, means and love to give them. But a lot of people simply keep them like a toy... something that's fun to play with when you feel like it, and ignore on the other hand, as long as you feel like it. I wonder how many cats, in their old age, end up 'cave dwellers' of urban basements after years of getting the message to "shoo" every two seconds? Many end up ailing with various diseases for years before the sentimentally attached owner "has the heart" to put them to sleep... some to the point where the animal is actually 'crying' a lot in it's misery.
Some people may have the heart and responsibility to take in an animal and care for it in a way that isn't cruel. But to do so is just as involved as taking care of a baby. Neither can really do much for themselves, and need the 'parent's' care or attention almost constantly.
I'm all for people adopting animals... if they understand that "responsibility" extends beyond clean water, fresh food and a place to relieve themselves.
Sorry for the rant but... "aww, aren't they cute?!" ... is only one, tiny piece of the picture. It certainly wouldn't be kind if someone adopted them who thought that was all there was to it.
And if you think cats and dogs have it bad... waddle over to www.liveducks.com
and read some of the duck rescue stories. Cats may be less cute when not kittens, but at least nobody chucks them out into the street!