Now that I your attention by posting some cats, I would like some advice about...well, cats.

Here's the scoop: I am moving to a new apartment in July, and will be living with a friend who is a longtime cat owner. I am currently mulling the idea of, after living with her and her current cat for a little while to adjust to that, getting a cat of my own. This is not a decision I take at all lightly so I thought I'd ask the hivemind for the some input. She is a responsible pet owner and could give me excellent advice on all the requirements of taking care of a cat, but I thought I'd ask you guys for advice on the process of actually getting the cat.

I'd like to adopt an adult cat from a local (meaning DC area) rescue organization or shelter. I have never owned a cat before, and I think I would be best suited to a cat that is fairly calm, friendly, and easygoing, as well as being able to live with my roommate's kitty and do well in a not-too-large city apartment.

Is this a doable thing? Do you have recommendations for age, gender, breed, etc.? What questions should I ask about the cat if I go to a rescue organization to see the cats there? In general, what do I look for to tell if a cat is healthy and in good shape? I really would like to adopt a cat with a calm and affectionate personality, but I don't want to have unrealistic expectations.

Approaching this responsibly is very important to me—if I decide that I don't want to live in the same place for a while, or decide for some other reason that my lifestyle isn't conducive to responsible pet ownership, I won't get a cat (I might consider fostering, since I know some people who've done that before).

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What do y'all think? I can haz cat?