Marc Morrone Newsday columnist Marc Morrone

Marc Morrone was born in 1960 in the Bronx and, when he was 2, his family moved to

Q: We have two dogs, a pony, two cats, two cockatiels, a ferret and three bunnies -- and we like them all. My sisters and I were wondering, what was the pet in your life that was your absolute favorite? --Cindy Johnson, Medford

A:  I find the entire natural world amazing and am in awe of all the creatures that live on our planet. Each one has something about it that is unique and fascinating. Each species of animal that we keep as a pet and allow to share our lives has a quality that we can relate to. That is why we enjoy their company so very much.

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Dogs and horses are the two animals that we owe the biggest debt to, as without them we would all still be living in caves. Whatever primitive man or women who first looked at a wolf or a horse many thousands of years ago and decided that the animal was worth more alive rather than dead had no idea that he or she would end up changing the world. Our partnership and subjugation of these two species allowed us the free time to expand our minds, culture and technology. So every human on planet Earth -- whether they like animals or not -- owes a big debt to dogs and horses that is yet to be repaid.

Cats and birds show us the purest and most honest form of friendship, as those are animals that really do not need us at all to provide for them. Both are quite capable of living independently of humans. When a cat jumps onto your lap or a bird flies to you and perches on your shoulder for no reason other then wanting to spend time with you, you should be flattered, as such a form of friendship is very rare in this day and age.

Ferrets I admire, as they are always optimistic. They are never in a bad mood or off in any way. At any opportunity, they want to dance and play and rejoice in life and never seem to find any reason not to.

Rabbits are one of the animals that I have the highest admiration for. They are true survivors. The entire world is the enemy of the rabbit. They are eaten by so many different animals and are always running from something; however, they face it all with a quiet dignity, and when the danger has passed they put it all behind them and go on with life as if nothing has happened.

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So you see that all your pets have qualities that are unique to them, and to class one as better than another or one more worthy of your care or attention is not fair. That is why I cannot answer your question. I am always learning something new from my different pets every day. I admire and respect them all.