I've grown up with a number of pets, and I've loved them all so much. When I started living with my family (ie. was born), our dog, Muffy, and cat, Dinkie, were already there. Muffy was great. She was full of energy, and did crazy things like jumping up and biting the carrot nose off our snowman. I would cuddle up with her during lightning storms (which she was terrified of). Dinkie was terrified of everyone, except my parents. He stayed away from my sister and me, and bolted under Mom's dresser whenever someone so much as knocked on the door. He only really warmed up to me during the last few years of his life. When he passed away (at 17), I was devastated. We buried him amongst the trees off the side of a trail (which was dug up by Habitat for Humanity to make houses; I wonder what they thought upon finding feline bones!)
I did not want to get any more pets, but caved in when I saw the kittens born to a cat of my Mom's friend. We've had Blaze and Cozmo ever since. Along the way, we've had a budgie, numerous fish, and my sister had a skinny pig. I get so attached to these animals. When the skinny pig died, I firmly declared we should not get any more pets; I couldn't take the pain of their eventual deaths. And yet when my sister rescued a hamster, The Gingerbread Man, from an incompetent friend, I fell for him, too (he was so called because he had the uncanny ability to escape from his cage and wind up in places like the stove). With his death, I made the same declaration.
With the exception of my father, I've always been struck harder by the death of an animal than a human. This is another trait of Asperger's: identifying more with animals than humans. Aspies (as many of us seem to call ourselves) often say they are from the wrong planet. I definitely feel this way sometimes. Hell, when I tried to commit suicide, the hardest part was saying goodbye to my cats!
Despite so many deaths, I now find myself wanting a dog once my cats are gone...
P.S. Today I experienced my first earthquake! There was brief rumbling, and things on my shelves rattled.