L ately, my Facebook stream has been overtaken with pictures of adorable new creatures that have become members of my friends' families: adopted cats, foster puppies, rescued ferrets... I can't escape it. And since I can't have any pets in my (albeit awesome) apartment, seeing these endless pictures is near torment.

Pets are an important part of life, but they're an even more important part of nerd life -- just check out the front page of Reddit. So instead of bitching about why I can't have the pet of my dreams (a golden retriever named Telluride, Tellie for short, obviously), I'm gonna tell you what kind of pet you should get based on what kind of nerd you are.

If taking apart a computer, messing around with it a little bit, and then putting it back together really gets you going, chances are a cat is the best option for you. They don't require much work, so when you're stuck in the engineering center until 1 a.m. for the fifth night in a row, Pumpkin will still be sulking around as if you'd been there all day. Cats are notoriously anti-social, but they also have a sweet side -- just like you. Cats get you, man. Plus, they're good for raking in Reddit karma and will let you do pretty much anything to them (case in point: stuffonmycat.com).


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Big on humanities and the arts? Start looking for a dog to rescue. Dogs are loyal and will love you oh so much for oh my gosh forever. They're the perfect friend for when you come home from that devastating ceramics critique. The sheer number of options of dog breeds reflects how many different types of humanities nerds there are: Fan of Shakespeare? Get yourself an English bulldog. Philosophy major? A rescued greyhound will help you consider your role in the universe. Film buff? Get yourself a Jack Russell terrier named Uggie.

Birds are perfect pets for musicians. From their songs to their flights about the room, they may provide inspiration as well as vocal, instrumental or percussive accompaniment. Parrots, which are incredibly intelligent and live for decades, can even serve as makeshift call-and-response partners.

If you have the resources to take care of a pet, I am super jealous. Whatever your nerdy style, pets are great companions that also teach you responsibility and compassion. The Boulder Humane Society has cats, dogs, birds and small mammals up for adoption right now -- check out their website (boulderhumane.org) to see which pets are waiting to come home with you and love your nerdiness!

--Jessica Ryan is a senior media studies major at CU-Boulder. She writes about nerdy things once a week for the Colorado Daily. On Twitter: @JessicaLRyan