I love both cats and dogs, and like my father before me, they seem to love me, too. I think dogs love me because I communicate with them on their level, while cats love me because I do their bidding and call them Master.
Our cat of many years died at age 18 last year, and we now have two 7-month old Bengal kittens. We'd love to have a dog, too, but we're never home and most dogs crave companionship. Or would the cats be sufficient company?
A lot of locations are outlawing declawing cats. What I see, is that declawing is a pretty humane procedure, and gives a lot of cats homes where having claws could be a problem.
Cats always come up when my wife and I talk about the ever-changing mores of society. When I was a kid, except in cities most cats were outside cats. Declawing was accepted for indoor cats (I don't how common it was). I assume that declawing an outdoor cat has always been understood to be a bad thing.
But attitudes about cats as outdoor animals have changed. Our current cats are pure breds, and when we purchased them we had to sign a form agreeing to keep them indoors. Today most cats are indoor cats, at least around the North East here in the United States. People are becoming more and more surprised when they find you have outdoor cats, and they can't believe we tolerate their chipmunk/mouse/mole smuggling activities. I fear that kitty doors may become a thing of the past.
We of course ignored the forms we signed, believing it cruel to keep cats exclusively indoors. Friends tell us there are fishers and coyotes out there, and I know they're right because I see the fishers occasionally and some people tell me they occasionally spot coyotes, so we close the kitty door at night. If we lose a cat I will be very, very sad, but I see their joy when they're outside, and I couldn't take that away from them.
About cats and claws, every cat I've had has been bad about scratching something. You can work at it and get them to stop, but they'll probably just switch to another piece of furniture. Scratching posts and such help, but like people, cats like variety.
I'm both a cat and a dog person, but I won't keep a dog because they're high maintenance, though it's a great way to stay current with the neighbors who stop and chat during their daily walks. I have a low tolerance for monotony, and few things are more boring for me than walking a dog.
Cat people might be brainier than dog people, but are they brainier than their cats? I know, I know, how could a cat compete in brainpower with an owner who has an advanced degree, but we may be using the wrong criteria for intelligence. After all, while people domesticated dogs, cats domesticated people. In fact, cats often argue that the domestication of people was the single factor most responsible for their modern lifestyle of ease and free room and board.
Re: Maybe everyone has seen this - "A cat saves a child from the jaws of a dog"
Three security cameras with identical resolution and aspect ratio, and with identical timestamp formatting at the top, and all synchronized to the same time, and all in working order.
And with leash laws everywhere there's a loose dog wandering the neighborhood, and with almost nobody letting their cats outside anymore this cat's outside, and at the end the mother runs away from the child.
I don't know. It all looks real, but there's so much coincidence and oddity...