I often spend long days (or maybe I should say long evenings!) at work. When I have to stay into the evening, I often don't go in until lunchtime, but for some reason coming home after 9 still makes me feel tired even if I just went in at noon. (and let's not talk about the nights I leave church at 11. I don't want to have any more of those if it's possible to avoid them.)
When I come home, usually the kitties are waiting for me. Sometimes Ollie is in the bed, or snuggled up in a blanket on the couch. But Andrew is almost always right at my feet by the time I hang up my keys and fumble for the light switch. I think he might actually sleep next to the door while I'm gone. They both follow me around as I change clothes, get food, put things away, turn on the heated mattress pad, etc. And as soon as I sit down, they're right there--I curl up on the couch and Andrew lays across my feet, while Ollie sits on the arm of the couch.
Lots of people say cats are aloof, and often act like they own us rather than the other way around. Not so with my kitties. They are super friendly, a little needy, and always like to be close. They like to be petted (up to a point, anyway). Andrew is talkative. They want to be loved and to love. When things aren't going well, they sense it and come to snuggle extra close. Their purrs make clear that they're invested in our connection. The sleep on my pillow. They listen to my whining and shouting and praying and swearing, and love me anyway. They taste my food (sometimes without permission). They're not just pets, not just housemates, not even just companions on the road of life...they're family.