I've always been a dog person. I don't have anything against cats; I just like dogs better.

But now that I am sharing an apartment with a woman who owns two cats, I couldn't help but grow fond of these two other furry roommates. Zikara is a year old, was rescued from a pet adoption center, and is a quiet, sweet feline who gets startled easily at the drop of a hat. Whiskers is eight months old, was an offspring of a feral cat who gave birth to her litter in an abandoned car, and has the scrappy attitude of a tough, scrawny kid who makes up for her diminutive size in attitude. She's quite a character.

We are living in a culture where we anthropomorphize our animal companions more than ever. We brush our dog's teeth, buy them name-brand collars, and even give them anti-depressants. We psychoanalyze the dominant personality traits of our cats, our horses, our birds.

And why wouldn't we? When our dogs come running to greet us in unbounded leaps of joy, we want to think that they truly loves us, and their enthusiasm isn't due to some Machiavellian survival instinct to continue getting food from their human owners. Our animal companions cannot speak to us, but that is why they become our best listeners--and our best accomplices. They will listen quietly to our life woes and midlife crises. They won't give us crappy advice. They won't judge if we cheat on our diet or slack off on exercise.

Our best pets keep us sane and make us feel a little less lonely.

This week, many of our Intent Voices will be talking about pets: why we love them, why we need them, how we can incorporate animals or learn from their wisdom in our own pursuit of happiness. We hope we will also be getting some memorable pet stories as well.

Share your pet-related opinions, advice and stories with the Intent community! Categorize your blog posts "Pets" and we will be rounding up the best pet-related content at the end of the week.

(For an example of a heartwarming post on pets, read Dave Trager's blog entry on lessons learned from his new Shiba Inu puppy Yuki)

Whiskers is the mischievous one of the two. She also has socks on her feet!

Zikara is fat.

Author's Bio: 

Intent.com is a premier wellness site and supportive social network where like-minded individuals can connect and support each others' intentions. Founded by Deepak Chopra's daughter Mallika Chopra, Intent.com aims to be the most trusted and comprehensive wellness destination featuring a supportive community of members, blogs from top wellness experts and curated online content relating to Personal, Social, Global and Spiritual wellness.