I really, really miss our cats. They have both moved on from us, and I still find myself missing their presence in our lives. I know my son misses them (well, the one he can remember), as he occasionally sings me a song about her and how sweet she was.
I'm not sure if his memories of the cats are legitimate, as he is reaching the age in which he is starting to lose his memories. But, I have told him that having a pet was good for him - even before he was born. Studies (like the one on the link) have found a relationship between family pets and the presence of a specific type of bacteria that decreases the likelihood of obesity and asthma.
Add to that all the benefits you've read about family pets a hundred times before: Stress reduction, lowered blood pressure and (for children who are allowed to help out), a sense of responsibility. Pets are good for us.
So, what I am saying is: I miss my cats.
Do you have any beloved family pets that pre-date your children? Tell me all about them in the comments.