A cat -- I always have a cat or two, or three or four. I've had fish before, and my days of caring for an aquarium are over. Besides, you can't cuddle a fish without putting him in jeopardy. If I weren't working, I would like a small dog, but they need someone to care for their needs in the daytime unless you train them to use a litter box like a friend trained his doxies. I've never had a bird.