Americans today own 63 million cats and 54 million dogs, on whom they rain more than $17 billion a year--and business is booming. These facts should give us paws. More and more we live in proximity to small animals. People come home dog-tired from work, and they find release and consolation in pets: it is medically proven that they lower blood pressure and heal the mentally distressed. Cats have recently become more popular than dogs in this country.