Why in the hell would anybody want a damned cat?
First, for the same reasons as a dog. No, not the same reasons as a dog wants a cat, but the same reasons for wanting to own a dog- they are loving and trusting. Unlike dogs, they make you earn their love and trust.
But you'll never get their respect. Of course, you won't get a dog's respect, either.
Don't expect your new cat to do tricks. Cats are hard to teach. Most are too smart to play that game, so if you want to teach a cat to roll over and play dead, get a really stupid cat.
Where should you get a cat? At a pet store?
Hell no! Whatever you do, do not get a cat at a pet store. By the time you buy your ridiculously expensive cat, it will be insane from being kept in a tiny cage in strange surroundings all of its life. A pet store is the last place to get a cat.
The best cats are feral cats; alley cats that wander onto your property and into your life. These cats know hardship, and understand what you are doing for them.
If a stray seems well fed, it's someone's pet. He's just pretending to be a stray for some extra food and attention. After all, it is an animal, and a mammal at that.
My former sister in law told of a cat who "ran off," just disappeared. They assumed it was dead, run over by a truck or something.
Lo and behold, six months later it was back, having traded his balls for a flea collar! He had befriended a human, and paid with the highest price a tomcat can pay.
Look, people are begging to give kittens away all the time. Take one, they're cute. Just don't take a male.
What does one cost?
Don't pay for a cat! They breed like rabbits; people can't give enough away and wiill resort to infanticide to rid themselves of the extra feline populations.
If you have to give someone money, go to the animal shelter.
There are costs associated with ownership, of course- food and cat litter come to mind. If one falls out of a tree and breaks his leg, then you need a vet.
What kind of cat should I get?
I would personally recommend against one like Illusionist Roy Horn had, unless of course you have an antelope infestation in your basement.
Just get a cat. Breed doesn't matter. Cats are all individuals. No two are alike. Find one that likes you, and one you like.
However, do not, I repeat DO NOT get a male. Males "mark their territory" by pissing all over everything you own. Male cats should not be let inside the house.
Unless, of course, you are Korean, and even then it is strongly advised not to let live ones in.
Try to get one whose mother was a mouser; in fact, the momma cat will determine what all the kittens are like, if you allow the kittens to stay with the mother long enough. The momma cat will teach the little cats to hunt, to use the litter box, where to sharpen their claws.
Again, pay close attention to the momma cat. She may also teach them where they can get away with shitting on the floor, how to get doors open, where the Purina Cat Chow is stored, where that Purina Human Chow is stored, and what the dog's social security number is.
Shy away from ones that glow in the dark, especially in Washington state.
OK, ok, how do I tell a male from a female?
Lift the tail and look just beneath its asshole ("arsehole" for our British readers). You can tell if it's a female. If it isn't, it's not.
What should I feed it?
The cheapest cat food you can buy.
But I love my cat!
Cats love Beluga Caviar. Can you afford it? Look- it's a cat. Buy it cat food. It can only know the joys you show it. Jade it in kittenhood and you will regret it.
However, if you are looking for cat longevity, the oldest recorded cat died at 36 years old, and was fed eggs, bacon, and coffee.
What about a litter box?
Buy one, and clean it once a day per cat. And never forget- you don't own the cat, the cat owns you.
What if I'm allergic to cats?
Er, avoid them? ...but if you must have one, and you have the money, you can get shots from your doctor.
I have a question that isn't answered, or I want to troll, or flame, and I'm just so confused any more and I really don't know what to...
Now calm down! The discussion starts here, with your question!