I could not imagine having kids without having pets. Pets help my kids get an immediate sense of love without the use of words. It's uncomplicated, immediate and simple love; and on the spot. We have 2 sibling cats and a female African Grey parrot named Nugget who talks beeps, laughs, burps and farts nonstop. Obviously, our parrot is not 'cuddly' but she is absolutely a part of our family in every way. She provides an essential comic relief at times when we might be scolding one child, the parrot would barge in with the same exact words we are saying. But the fact that a parrot is saying them allows everyone to take a brief moment to laugh and lighten up the mood.