@ All the dog people. I love dogs, don't get me wrong. But the reason they call 'em 'pets' is because that's mainly what you do with them - you pet 'em in your spare time. Just compare petting a cat v.s. a dog - it's so much more pleasant with a cat, isn't it?
And with the whole protection thing, I think it's a bit overrated. Unless you live on a farm and have a whole pack of hungry attack dogs, that factor is pretty much irrelevant. Your dog won't stop a crazed looney with a gun. Nor will it rescue you from drowning because all you have in your house is a bathtub and the beaches have lifeguards.
I mean, if I was a different person and went hiking a lot, and solo nature travel, that sort of thing - then obviously a dog is a million times better. But in a city or suburban setting, cats are amazing and dogs can be pretty damn bad, even obnoxious sometimes. Like a little chihuahua that likes to bark all night long at the top of her tiny doggie lungs inside an inner-city apt. building with 1,000 other families.
Cats are more quiet and do require a lot less attention than dogs do. And dogs tend to smell more. You need to bathe them. Cats bathe themselves - which is awesome! Who doesn't like a self-cleaning kitchen appliance? So cats... At least for me.
Oh, I almost forgot - my cat does tricks for me - I trained him. They do train, and there are some breeds - like the Sphynx (or is it Bald Egyptian? No clue...), that are unbelievably intelligent and can train even easier than some dogs while still retaining that uncanny cat sensitivity and... I almost want to call it 'spirituality' - Cats have a 6th sense, you know... They really do.