Some people want a super affectionate cat. Not me. When I was fostering Cookie and Luna, as much as I loved them both, it was nice when they went to their new homes. They're the sort of cats that are in constant need of attention. They needed to be in my lap, headbutting my chin, stealing my highlighters while I tried to study, all the time.
Mama is more independent. She is affectionate but not needy. She'll hop up in my lap when I'm sitting in my desk chair and only then, so if I'm not in the mood for kitty cuddle time I just don't sit in that chair. She doesn't sleep with me, she sleeps in her cat bed, which is good because my husband has allergies and when I move back to the States she won't be allowed in our bedroom. So not having to break her of that habit is a bonus.
Have I mentioned that I've also never had a problem with her destroying anything? Not furniture, not decorations, not curtains. I have a rather elaborate spread of shells and coral that I've collected during my time here arranged on my coffee table. She has not once fussed with them. The first thing Cookie did the first night I had her was to knock all of them over onto the floor. They had to go up while she was here because she wouldn't leave them alone. I also keep a bag of "cheap" grocery store cat food on a desk in the living room to feed to the stray cats that come up on my porch. Mama's never touched it. Luna, on the other hand, knocked it over onto the floor and spilled several pounds of cat food all over my living room twice.
She is also a perfect cat to own if you want to foster and rehab kittens. The story of Mama is that she turned up on my friend's porch with a single, solitary 4-week-old kitten and already heavily pregnant again. My friend kept the kitten and I took Mama. Soon afterward she gave birth to three adorable kittens and had to be rushed to the clinic for a c-section for the remaining two which were too big to pass naturally. One was still born and the other pulled through only to die of aspiration pneumonia five weeks later. The three surviving kittens all found good homes with other Ross students and Mama stayed with me. Ever since she's been helping me take in semi-feral kittens that I foster through PAWS and turn them into happy, well-adjusted cats when they go to their new homes. She is patient, loving and playful with them, even when they hiss in her face.
I love my Mama. She is perfect. She keeps me sane under the crazy stress of vet school. Yes, I just wrote a blog entry dedicated to my cat. Shut up.