cats and dogs
As Sadie rightfully points out, the argument of cats vs dogs as pets has become somewhat overinflated
. Pets are not People, people.
Having said that, I am going to bloviate on the subject anyway.
I think I'm more of a "cat person". We had one cat and a whole slew of big dogs growing up. A dog is the perfect sycophantic, prop up whatever loser happens to feed me type. I get tired by undying loyalty. Cats, as everyone knows, take a much more "Fuck you" attitude toward life, they consider themselves the royalty of their domain. Of course, they're just as likely to starve if their owner dosen't feed them as a dog, but at least they maintain some dignity about it.
Having said that, there is something to be said for an dog that will love you, literally no matter what. A cat will condone to let you near it, if you're lucky, but a dog will be by your side always.
I think I'm a bird person, actually. I like both cats and dogs, but neither are my sort of pets. The thing about that is, if you know birds, there is a wide variety of kitty vs. puppy types just in the avian species.
For example: we were at my local pet store lately, which had a pile of new baby birds. My girlfriend fell instantly in love with a bright white baby Umbrella Cockatoo, and it loved her. Cockatoos are the teddy bears of the bird families. They're ridiculously friendly; it not only sat on her finger for quite some time, it wouldn't let her put it down when we wanted to leave. Very friendly, maybe needy, pretty bird.
I, on the other had, was most interested in the single remaining African Grey. I think a Grey with a red tail is a very pretty bird, but they have a heck of a reputation. They are as smart or even smarter than many primates, learning not only to mimic words but apparently tell the differance in shapes, colors and other physical characteristics. They can also be very mean. They tend to bond with one person, and they choose who that person is. They can be notorious as either fantastic or miserable pets.
But if I were to buy a pet, that's what I would get: A baby grey. I'm currently in negotiations with my girlfriend to buy a Cockatoo for her and a grey for me, as soon as we have the space to keep them. Of course, we already have a cockatiel, who spends exactly zero time in his cage and can be very territorial, so we'll see how that works out. He didn't get the name Sid "Vicious" for nothing, even if he is a tiny thing.
Really, if we had our way, we'd have a whole menagerie: a dog, probably a shepard; a cat or three; the cockatiel, chinchilla and fishes we already have, and two parrots. And who knows what else. We can only hope that that indoor food chain can learn to get along.