I think people hoard animals to fill empty space with life. I think they want to feel warmth in the cold spots. They want to see the golden flecks of dust stir and settle before quieting.
One might not be enough. One extra set of lungs, one spare heart, four legs to clink across smudged and rough hardwood floors. Add another life, add another chance, add a few more years to stave off being all alone again.
This is not my own heart’s desire.
I have one child, one husband, and one pet. Asking for or seeking anything more would feel gluttonous to me. But I can see how the heart might feel empty in the corners, and how those cavernous spaces could only be filled with one more beating heart.