"Our newest family member, Toto"
"Willy our tortoise shell tabby"
"Tiger hanging out in the boy's football pads"
As you can see, I love critters and it doesn't have to just be cats and dogs. My first cat was a big old Tom cat who valiantly tried to protect me whenever I'd cry. Mom used to say how he'd try to attack her if I starting crying or screaming while she was trying to give me a bath. Thankfully, Mom's elbows survived to wash me another day. At the same time, we had a German Shepard who I loved to play with in the kiddie pool and share leftover pancakes with out on the back step.
Currently, my dog, Toto, is everything wonderful that you would expect from a dog. She's loyal and sticks close to me - just in case I need back-up. She's even tempered, very loving and rarely barks. She loves to play and actually plays with the cats a great deal. One minute she's chasing them around the house and then the next lap, one of them will be chasing her! She often curls up and sleeps with a cat or rolls shamelessly around on the floor playing with a cat. My son and I joke that Toto seems to think that she is a cat!
Willy, the tortoise shell tabby is your traditional 'I'll come to you on my terms' sort of cat. She's full of love'n, but when she wants to, not before. Tiger, our large tom cat is actually a giant luv bug. I helped deliver him and he apparently really imprinted on me. When he's not out making his neighborhood rounds all night, you can generally find him snuggling right up beside me with his cold, wet nose pressed hard against my cheek, his front paws stretched out to encircle my neck while he gently, repeatedly squeezes them (thankfully, he's de-clawed or that could get interesting) like he's trying to hug me or pull me closer. And he just purrs and purrs and purrs for hours. Well, if that doesn't make you feel loved to your core, I don't know what will!
I see the pros and cons of both dogs and cats and would hate to be forced to make a choice between one or the other. Traveling with cats is something I will generally only do for more than a few blocks unless I'm being held at gunpoint, whereas the dog can be good company on a drive. That being said; you can leave for a weekend and just leave food, water and a couple of liter boxes out and the cats don't care one bit. Doesn't work so good with a dog, and if you can't take the dog with you, then you have to find a sitter of some sort.
Any way you slice it, I don't think you can get more unconditional love than from a pet, whichever ones you prefer.