I am a huge animal lover in general. Throughout my life I have had as pets fish, turtles, dogs, mice, rats, a ferret, and a horse. Right now I have one rat and my horse. My family always thought my love of animals and my ability to get otherwise skittish animals to interact with me was uncanny to the point that my dad used to call me the Beastmaster (for those of you that don't know what that is, it's a reference to this movie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083630/). I also have always enjoyed training animals, so that contributed to the nickname as well.
My dad is allergic to cats, so growing up we never had any, but I love them as well. My boyfriend and I have discussed getting a cat, but not until the rat is no longer with us. That's not a pairing I want to risk. : P