I'm a student and I currently live near campus in an apartment that does not allow cats, and up until I moved here, I have lived with cats my entire life, and I've always wished I could have a cat around. At my parents house about an hour away, I have 8 or 9 cats (don't worry - we're not just crazy cat people - they are indoor/outdoor cats, plus most of them fell into our hands because they were stray/abandoned kittens, and who could turn down a lost kitten?) and I get to see them every weekend when I go home (it's usually the highlight of my weekend).
I enjoy the company of my cats more than the company of my roommate and her friends who are always over (and most people for that matter, which I guess is weird - but seriously, a lot of people are really not fun to be around, and since cats can't talk, they are never as insulting, annoying, boring, infuriating, or stupid). So I really like having at least one cat around because cats are loving, comforting, and entertaining. But since I can't have a cat in my apartment, if I were to keep one here, I would be thrown out and/or I would have to pay a crap load of money for bringing it here. Either way, I just can't have a cat. Even the apartments that do allow cats typically charge a monthly fee, PLUS a deposit (that is sometimes refundable), and it already costs enough to own a cat (litter, food, toys, etc.), plus the apartment I'm in now is the best one there is.
Anyway, I tried pet rats instead, and they were OK but certainly not the same as a cat. When I have a cat to come home to, I'm happy. If I'm stressed/angry/sad, hanging out with a cat usually makes me feel better. If I'm bored, I can try to teach it tricks or just play with it. If I have scraps from dinner, I can take joy in feeding them to my cat instead of just sending them down the disposal. Sometimes my cat even likes to watch T.V. and movies with me, and will tell me when it's time to take a break from my school work, and even wake me up in the morning. Also, depending on the cat, I could actually take it for a walk sometimes.
So as you see, a cat is almost necessary for my well-being. But I can't have one. Why? I know it could scratch things, but I'd keep its nails trimmed and have a thing for it to scratch (and of course I'd repair any damages before I moved out). And I know they can leave messes, but what's the difference if I have to get the carpet cleaned anyway? And I'm pretty sure if my cat started peeing somewhere other than the litter box, I would not let that continue because that is just ridiculous to let happen. So I'm a responsible person! If my roommate can have friends over to party every night without having to pay a deposit or a monthly fee for that, why can't I have a cat for free as well? A bunch of stupid drunk people are bound to do just as much, if not more damage to my apartment than a single cat is bound to do. So what the hell?? Why do apartments tell me I can't have a cat (or make me pay an unreasonable amount for one)?