The human is taking back the keys for a few, with a dillema I'm sort of struggling with. Apologies in advance, it may be quite long.
To begin, Jake is the family cat, and I no longer live at home. So I'm actually cat-less at the moment. I'd love nothing better than to kidnap him from my parents' house (Jake is pretty much concentrated awesome in a fur coat) but he'd be so unhappy that, at his age, there's no way I'd submit him to the stress of having to adjust to a suddenly all-indoor lifestyle when he's always been used to sunning on the lawn whenever he bloody well feels like it. So that's out of the question. An adult when we found him stray, Jake has always placed a high value on his outdoors time and I honestly believe it'd shorten his lifespan for me to steal him away from that.
I'm toying with the idea of getting a cat though, and that's what I'd like advice and outside opinions on please, Catsters! Right now, it's me and my small dog Eppy here in an off-campus apartment. She gets very lonesome when I'm at school and work, and has been a bit mopey since my guinea pig Chloe died. It's just her and the emptiness now once I leave. I thought a cat might be a good companion for her, if I can find one that would like her and vice versa. Eppy doesn't like other dogs for some reason but seems fond of small pets and cats. So a cat, that wouldn't have to be confined to a cage for his own safety (as Chloe was) might make a good friend for her while I'm away.
It wouldn't be just for her of course... I love kitties too. Actually, what brought the issue to the forefront was the kitten I saw today, when the no-kill shelter brought some pets to the pet shop to adopt out. My "cat plan" was nothing but a little, shelved dream, I have been balking at doing it because, as much as I would love it, I'm still in college, and I get pretty busy sometimes, not to mention the fact that finances are usually fairly tight. I can afford food and shots and such, but what if something really expensive, a veterinary emergency for example, were to happen? My pets and I would be stuck between a rock and a broke place.
But then, there he was. This black kitten who looked at me, and that look said, "you know we were made for each other. I know you can see it." I held him, and it was all over. I can't get it out of my mind. A negligible adoption fee, and of course a litterbox and some litter and food (dishes and toys I've got already in abundance) and this cat would be mine. Once the neuter and the first sets of shots are out of the way, upkeep for one cat and Eppy would be well within my budget. Those initial expenses would be a bit of a squeeze but I could do it, and recover the expenses with a bit of planning and extra prudence. (still nervous about that emergency possibility though).
But the question I'm struggling with is: would that be irresponsible and selfish of me? Would my dog be better off with one hundred percent of the pet attention that I have to give when I AM home? Would this kitten be better off adopted by some stay-at-homer, or a big family, or someone with a more stable life than some broke college kid?
I'm really torn. I had originally wanted an adult cat if/when I eventually got one anyway, but now I know it's either going to be HIM or I wait until I graduate to even look again. I'm way too in love with this little guy. He settled into my arms, purred us both into a zen-like state of contentment, and I swear he was smiling. It's him or it's nobody. But I want to make the right choice for all involved here.
Lay it on me, guys, you won't hurt my feelings (well unless you word it nasty, but I already know nobody here is prone to doing that so yay!). What should I do?