I do have two cats. A mother and son and they couldn´t be more different both in physical appearance and mind.
Mum is little and extremely lightweight... If you ever would manage to bath her. Which is of course impossible since she has quite a temperament there would be nothing left!
Her son is at least twice the size and 4x as heavy at least if not eight times. He is not over weight though he has some fat on his bones I suppose.. She is on the edge all the time. A bit crazy and excentric which just got more accentuated on older days. Sometimes she just flees when she sees me. If I go up stairs she is the total other way she pretty much jumps at you instead. She really hate the guts out of her son. Maybe she is trying to push him out and get independent and get more and more frustrated that he won´t leave
. On the other hand he surely jumps on her at times which lives a lot of fur flying when they go at eachother. Though with all her sneezing and acting she does deserve to get jumped once in a while
She got a sister too but we kept the brother since mom and sister is said not go along that well together. Dunno if that worked out...
But we have separated the upper stores for her and the lower floor for him. Works really well since she really seem to need a safe heaven... He is a beer drinking sport watcher couldn´t care less about her ways as long as he get his beer (food) and sports though. Hunting/sleeping of course.
He has just about no temper. As a youngster we once had a slightly accoustic 5 year old or something. I say accoustic because I don´t remember what exact letter combination he had but he carried the poor cat around on his belly for like 5 hours back and fourth and he couldn´t care less... His mom would never stand such abuse more then 30 seconds before there would be blood and children cry if they didn´t take her warning 15 seconds earlier seriously
He can´t even mjau right it just get peeps... I have never heard him sneeze ever! I am not sure he can sneeze either...
How he actually manage to catch birds and rats, snakes and whatever he manage to get his hands on with his pace is beyond me. She is fast like lightning and even at her current age extremely agile so that I can see better.
As for the previous discussion our cats can go out as they please. Except for training them to use cat sand of course there is just no need here at the countryside anyway. They hate water and our neighbours are free to water hose them if they do something they shouldn´t do. That is pretty much the ultimate punishment... Always fun cleaning the car and threatening them a bit. Haven´t done anyone any harm even though the mother got shot by an air gun one time by some kid.
Just some years ago they had pretty much an entire forest to rule over. As of late there has been more houses built around us sadly which meant at least 3 other cats starting to fight for the territory. Put a bit more pressure on them it seems. The son is not quite as cool as he used to be. Sometimes he comes home with battle scars... One really ugly where he got several bulges on his neck and head. But they are strong animals quickly recover.
As for affectionate... Yes and no they are in their own way. Cats except for dogs are still wild at heart I think. If you give them food and shelter and treat them well they will more take advantage of you then love you
... They are true individualists they put themselves first. Not like dogs that lead their masters every wink with little reflection.
As for birds killing yes I love birds and have done some bird watching. But I can´t be mad about cats doing what they are designed to. Think of the skill required. Mostly cats will have to do with the young or weak though so it´s not like they threaten the bird population that much!
I really don´t think those cats would have a better life in a department somewhere no matter how much love they would get or luxury items to kill time with. Okay with dogs they have since long lost their old instincts but cats should be allowed to have at least some minimum amount of freedom.