The Return of the Well Cultured Anonymous/Pets
Pets are kept by various people for a multitude of reasons. These include
- Used as a means to pick up pet owners(cute ones only, oh, and faggy dogs work too)
- Getting rid of some unwanted stuff (mice, bad grades, neighbours etc.)
Generally, pets come in three basic varieties.
Being small these pets usually live in some sort of cage (or tank in the case of fish). These have the advantage of being relatively easy to care for (no shit/fur/food all over your home), but tend to be a bit boring due to not moving around much. Most of them are friggin awesome for one reason or another so if you want something easy to care for that doesn't have any ability to damage your home, go for it.
Basic small pets
These include rabbits, hamsters guinea pigs and so on. An appropriately sized cage is needed, usually with the floor covered with wood shavings to absorb and cover up all the piss and shit these (otherwise charming) creatures are known to produce, sometimes even such preparation will end up full of crap and piss and you will have to change it (my guinea pig died because of that, the stuff I used to put in its cage started fermenting and producing gases). Being rodents, they are miniature manure factories and will eat up as much food as you give them, so proper care must be taken not to overfeed them. On the subject of feeding, granulated pet food (for rodents) works just fine, but be sure to give them some fruit or vegetables (think apples, cucumbers, tomatoes,salad etc. Be sure to wash them THOROUGHLY to remove any pesticides/nitrates/other harmful crap.
Surprisingly, fish are aquatic, meaning you need a fish tank (full of water) to take care of them. These usually come with some sort of filtration system (which has the added benefit of moving the water in the tank around while cleaning it. This prevents algae from setting in and also enables you to be lazy and not change the water yourself.). Fish food often comes as some sort of powdery stuff that smells like shrimps, problem is at first you have to determine how much your fish will actually eat (since you can't have a tank full of plankton and algae to give it, though it would be much better for it).
The tiny ones are also in this category, but they are hard to look after (most are caught in the wild and fail at life in captivity). Also there is a good chance that your pet will outlive you (with good care) so don't get one unless you plan to have it around or at least have someone to give it away to. Unless you're bringing up a tortoise, you'll need a watery environment for it, I suggest a tank with emerging rocks or some kind of mini-beach (with a grotto for shelter). Be careful that said turtle cannot go over the edges, because unless you see it escaping you'll never find it again (found a turtle skeleton under my bathtub 5 years after the last one had dissapeared).
You can also get a land turtle, but you need to get extra care for that. Usually if you truly want your turtle to outlive you you're gonna need a shitload of stuff to take care of your turtle. If you happen to have an exotic animal vet in your city, go ask him; but, amongst other things, you're gonna need a UV lamp, tortoise calcium, good food, etc. Although you may now be thinking "What the fuck? I'm not buying that shit for a turtle", it is actually true. 2 turtles died on me but the last one is living perfectly because of this.
PROTIP: Turtles usually fail at breathing. So if you adquire one, make sure that you put it in a place without a shitload of air currents, as they can get a respiratory disease as fast as a nigger in Africa can get AIDS. And it's a cold-blooded animal, for fuck's sake, don't forget it in your backyard, no matter how small and secure it is.
ANOTHER PROTIP: If you're placing the turtle with a dome, make sure the ground part is tilted. On a flat level surface, a turtle can't get back on its feet if they are directly upside down. That will fucking kill it because the digestive system will literally crush the turtle's lungs.
They work a bit like fishes, except you can give them vegetables and require a tad more attention.
Little birds are quite difficult to keep, just like most birds, they need space, which means a big cage, or, if you're confident they won't run/fly away, a room or your house. They will exploit any and all breaches in their cage, and try to get away, be careful of windows, they will not see them and will fly straight at them, hurting and sometimes killing themselves. They are also very, very sensitive to illnesses and things such as fleas and others. you will need to ensure that they are kept in a clean environment, if needed have it sprayed frequently with whatever product removes problems (and do so with your birds away from it, as they could very well die from intoxication). A perfect waker, for as soon as the sky lightens up a bit in the morning they will start chatting. Quite easy to scare, you will have to take care of them with utmost gentleness. Food is not much of a problem, they mostly eat grains, which you can easily find in pet stores (prefer the ones in clusters to the ones in boxes, it's easy to fit in a cage and forces your birds to get some brains and exercise); some birds, though, require a bit of meat, like worms, and I have no idea how to handle that.
Being fine too, cats can either be really easy to care for or a total bitch. First off you need to pick a breed and do some research (for instance Persians are prone to excessive eye tearing). If you pick a cat with a long coat you have to groom it regularly and deal with it being all over your furniture. Possibly the most important choice here is what gender you want your future feline to be. Male cats tend to spray their territory (AKA your home) and odds are you wont stand the smell and have the bugger castrated. They are also (like most male anons) always horny and may end up getting into the habit of humping various objects or people in your home. Female cats don't have these disadvantages, but they do get in heat which spells a lot of noise on a regular basis (compare to male cats being the same 24/7). Unless you want random inbred kittens, or to have a filthy/flea covered cat, I'd advise you to keep your pet indoors.
Try to get them as young as possible (after they were separated from their mother), and also make sure said mother had proper habits, like eat correctly and not shit everywhere, it'll mean much less stuff to teach the little bastard. When you first get them, put them where you want them to feel well afterwards, as in where they'll go to rest, preferably a secluded spot (you DON'T want to sleep with a cat). Show them where they can crap (if possible in the bathroom or near it) and eat (may not be in the kitchen for random meat-stealing purpose). Playing with them, you'll probably end up without skin on your hands, so teach them to retract their claws when playing, that is press a bit on their paws when the claws are out, and they should reflexively retract them, and take up the habit after a time. I haven't found a way to make mine stop biting like you're a piece of game yet (and it doesn't help that I moved out of the country for my studies because I've seen my cat once in 4 months, and it grew huge in the meantime, will report more on tacgnol junior later). Also, get it something to claw onto, if you want to keep your furniture intact, a raw piece of wood should do the trick, point being you have to make the cat use it (my father had made raw wooden chairs that are perfect for this purpose).
Cats are a rare entity. Cat seem to have the ability to change people into freaks with smelly houses and general disregard for the piss-stain on their shirt. Yes in case you have not noticed I am speaking of the crazy cat lady. Crazy cat ladies can be born as early as 30 years old. These women are the clingy types as cats are the only ones who will put up with their shit. Cats really only want the food, they probably hate any duration of hugs longer than 45 seconds while watching a movie. Moar than two cats in a woman's house is a sign of batshit crazy.
Will write maor later, feel free to add in the meantime.
On one hand, they're feathered shit factories and expensive to buy and raise. On the other, they're extremely intelligent and social animals who, given enough care, will provide you with years of companionship.
(will add more when I don't have to work.)