Yes, we're looking for a cat, sunnicat. I'd like to make my early post more clearer... I don't think I was being too "rigid" and I think there is such an "animal". I've read a lot about different kinds of cat breeds and the different kinds of personalities. The personality traits that I mentioned above are all from different kinds of breeds that I was reading about, not things that I just came up with myself in a minute. I don't think they're unreasonable.
I know all cats are curious and like to explore and play with things... some of you may call it "mischievous" when I call it "healthy". When I said I didn't want a cat that was mischievous, I meant that I didn't want a cat that gets REALLY mischievous when he/she gets bored. For example, the Tonkinese, gets really mischievous when he/she is left alone and is bored. So I wouldn't consider that breed for us. I know a lot of cats jump and climb...I know that's their nature...but I did read about a particular breed that likes to have his/her feet firmly planted and is not given to high jumping and climbing, which is the Persian. The reason why we don't prefer a cat that likes to jump is because we have a lot of breakables and plants (not poisonous ones) on a lot of surfaces. I wouldn't mind if he/she jumps on the bed, desk or kitchen counter, just as long as it's safe for him/her. And I know all cats are generally difficult to train but I read where one particular breed has a good memory and is relatively easier to train than other cats though I can't remember the name. I'll post it if I can find the article again.
I know that a dog is not right for us. We used to have a dog and I know what it's like to care for them. A dog wouldn't be right for us because he/she has to be left alone in the house for hours. Dogs need constant care and attention, someone, like a housewife to be with them all day. Cats are a little more independent than dogs are. For example, I read about Russian Blues and Birmans, and learned that "they can entertain themselves while you are gone and welcome you with their smiley face when you return" (from about.com). Also dogs tend to bark a lot. We've had neighbors from every direction complaining to us. Cats are also little cleaner than dogs are.
If someone recommends a cat and we get one, and he/she doesn't fit our criteria, then... I would move all the breakables and the plants to a much higher place. I would NEVER replace him/her or give him/her away, especially if I got him/her from a shelter. It's not like buying a purse where you can return it because you didn't like the color... I wouldn't get a cat just because one person recommended it. I would spend some time researching that breed before getting the cat.
I think I'm leaning towards Persians because not only do they have a beautiful coat and big beautiful eyes, they're pretty quiet, loving, cuddly, not too jumpy, they're capable of putting up with our busy schedules, and they're playful but never demanding.