My family has rarely had much room for family pets.  Everyone in the family has to be productive.  Oh, we’ve not grumbled too much when the women had their little foo foo dogs, but in general every member of the family has a place and a job.  The cats that built their little house on the outskirts kept the vermin out for us.  And yes, I do consider reporters vermin.  The cats were very valuable assets, and it was a damn shame whenever one of them died.