A good friend just lost a dear old pet. How like a cat, really -- they're cleverly engineered to exploit all our empathy and parenting circuits, they make us love them, and then they have the bad grace to have a lifespan one fifth our own.
(And notice, I'm doing it myself. Anthropomorphizing them, that is. It really is remarkable, how precisely evolved they are to make us identify with them, as fellow intelligent, self-centered predators, but react to them as fluffy and playful. They'd eat us in a heartbeat if we were just smaller, and yet we invite them to take up residence in our homes!)
So yes, I like cats, I've loved a few of them, and been sad when they eventually died. But I'd seriously consider a box turtle for my next pet. They've also managed the trick of looking fairly intelligent (when they're awake, anyway), and might not age at all. Probably outlive my grandchildren, at any rate.
*I know, that's not the real scientific classification. But Felis silvestris catus just doesn't have the same ring to it.