We have always been cat people. There have been very few times in my life that I have not had cats living with me (always at least two and currently three).
My mother's move to an independent living facility was determined by whether or not they allowed pets as she wasn't going to move without her cats. At the time she was planning her move, she had three cats, but when she finally moved into her apartment, she was down to one due to the deaths of the other two; one from very old age and the other from a fast moving cancer. Annie, her Maine Coon, then developed a serious heart problem (one that seems to be congenital to the breed) and had to be put down the beginning of the year.
Mom was torn between not having a cat or adopting one and wondering about its fate if she died before the cat did. After I reassured her that I would take the cat if that happened, she then adopted Callie from a local animal rescue group.
Miss Imperious here -