I had some angel fish for a science project in the house, while a sophomore in high school. I did everything wrong and the fish did not survive, but I got a B for my project. With my Mom a single Mom working in a small restaurant, we didn't have the money for the kinds of equipment I should have been using. But I did learn what not to do.
As a boy, I had a puppy or a dog at various times.
We got a farm reared calico cat for my oldest daughter (and us). That cat traveled with us from Kentucky to Ohio and then on to California, Washington state, and then back to California. She was gentle with kids (after some instructions by me soon after she first arrived), but she just kind of was dead weight until put down, and then she'd leave the area. And while she didn't go picking a fight, the other cats seemed to acknowledge that she was the Queen, and they left her alone.
My second wife had a guinea pig that she kept in her kindergarten class when school was in session, and home with us when it was not. He dearly loved to be out of his cage and hide.
I agree with the statement that they can be smelly. I don't think I'd voluntarily have one as a pet.
Various family members have keets, pretty much started by a younger brother - now deceased (the brother, not the keets).
Marge had a couple of cats when I met her, but some wild packs of dogs got them. And this was in the city!
Since we've been in the country, a couple of cats that had been pets and then deserted, and were semi-feral adopted me, and I fed them and petted them - as outside cats.
And Trippi, a calico cat who KNOWS she is a Princess - of the Universe, that is - came to us from a son of Marge's. He and his mate had too many cats, too small a space, and our grandson on the way at the time. They had her spayed before we got her.
She started out as an outside cat, along with Smokey and Tuffey, and they accepted and acknowledged that she was the Princess. She had those older male cats running around the property and playing games just like they were young kittens!
In December, 2006, Trippi got badly mauled and injured. Her wound has slowly healed, and is almost completely healed now. The wound is now about an inch by an inch. After more than $3 thousand to the vet and us doing wound care at home about every 3 days, she became an inside cat, and she shows little desire to go out. Whatever got to her traumatized her pretty bad.
The vet said because she was young, she survived, and that as long as she could act like a cat, she'd probably recover. And she does - she has me well trained.
Smokey and Tuffey disappeared about a year ago. We think snakes got them, and we see large hawks that nest in the area. As for what got Trippi, something clawed along her spine at the rear/top of her body, and gouged really deep. Might have been a raccoon, and it might have been a Florida bear. We don't have many, but there are some around, we're told.
Smokey was a grey Persian, and Tuffey was a beat up black and white Tom, who just could not stop tomcatting! I hope he is still tomcatting in heaven. And Smokey acted like he thought he was in heaven when I'd sit on the deck steps, and he'd get on my lap/legs and knead. I learned to put some kind of protector cloth over my legs, though. Jeans just aren't enough.
But if I was in a meditative mood, and just wanted to look at the stars, the moon, and think, Smokey would just quietly hang out with me, and seemed okay with the companionship. He didn't ask for much from me. I miss him a lot. I have tears in my eyes as I think about him.
I guess - on this board - I shouldn't talk about the lightning bugs that I'd catch in South Georgia (fireflies), and what I'd do with them as a young boy. I probably couldn't post here any more. Oh well, I've said too much already. You could write your name on your tee shirt and it would glow for a while.