It has been my experience that for loyalty and affection, it's hard to beat tabby cats. Sure, people praise their purebreds and get a distinct pleasure out of being "snubbed" by their feline wonder. My two Himalayans that have passed were loved dearly, but tabby cats don't treat me like an unwanted visitor.
Of course, cats aren't dogs! Cats don't beg for a kind glance... but living with an animal that thinks it's smarter than me and has better lineage credentials won't make that treat come out of the cupboard.
My Coty came to me a bedraggled little waif that "the cat dragged in". I mean that quite literally. Max Factor, our large black adopted stray, is allowed outside a couple of times a day for 10-30 minutes depending on his agenda.
One afternoon it started raining and he didn't take long to have his nose at the door requesting entrance. Right beside him was this little tabby kitty, all wet and forlorn.
We guessed she was around 4 months old but once we got her to the vet, he said she was around 6 months but just underfed. Seems to be how all our cats have arrived... hungry and unloved. However, although we didn't know it at this time she was also pregnant. But, I'm putting the cart before the horse...
Unfortunately, we were leaving on vacation in just a couple of days and I had a girlfriend (Lynn) that would visit each day while we gone and care for our cats. She would spend an hour or two each day and feed them, clean their litter, play with them a little and give them some petting... but then she'd be gone until the next day.
We couldn't put a new cat into the environment without being checked by the vet to make sure she had no diseases etc. Plus, introducing a new cat into a household takes patience and a bit of trial and error.
Our solution was to make a shelter for her outside to keep the rain off of her... and have my girlfriend feed her outside until we got back. Fortunately when we got back, Coty was still there and Lynn reported that she was waiting eagerly for the food each day.
We had only been home hours and hadn't even unpacked when we decided to call our vet to have him check her out. We are fortunate that he always fits us in whenever he can. So, Coty became a member of our cat group, which at this time made her cat #4.
Her pregnancy wasn't healthy with her frail body so she was taken care of and then spayed. When I picked her up to take her home her big green eyes watched every move. Her poor little body was still so thin it brought tears to my eyes. But the trust in those eyes has never wavered. If I leave the sofa to go to the washroom, you can be sure she's right behind me. She is my shadow and my beloved tabby cat.
I have never regretted taking Coty indoors. She is a constant companion quietly sneaking under my desk when I'm busy working on the computer, or if she senses I'm just surfing and goofing off... she plunks herself in front of the monitor... hunkered down so I can still see the screen.
Her loyalty to Max for bringing her to our house is unwavering. When #5 appeared at the door, a scrawny and starving kitty... she sort of adopted her and protected her once her feral times were over. In my mind, a tabby cat is a wonderful creature without the credentials, but with all the survival instincts, love and fortitude. I celebrate tabby cats in the name of my Coty who has been my shadow for over 5 years now.