In June 1997 The Asahi Shimbun, the leading Japanese newspaper, conducted a face to face survey on the average person's feelings about pets in general. 2,248 people responded, almost perfectly split between men and women. Go here to see the questions asked and how they could -- and did -- answer.
Oh, and today's blog title? It's the most popular response to question 2, "What do you think is a good point of a pet ?" And I can't argue with that winning answer at all.