How exciting. I have always lived with cats, but I can imagine that getting to know them will be a great pleasure.
In my experience cats are very flexible to whichever way you can accommodate them. Whether you have one or two is purely your choice. They may get on well and really enjoy each other's company but they not really care either. Cats personalities are as variable as people and from that point of view getting a kitten is a new adventure as it grows and you get to know each other.
Depending on your circumstances there are numerous ways that you can care for a cat. Our current two, mother and son, Patch and Pirate, sleep in the house all day often on our bed and we feed them outside just before we go to bed and they spend the whole night earning their living mousing etc. Or I suspect Patch does and Pirate who is big and black and totally misnamed (he is the biggest softy in catdom) will be spending the night in a high place in the poly tunnel watching Patch work.
We don't have a catflap because it is drafty and our jack russels could get out. Also patch used to bring in all sorts of bits of animals when we did.
Often when cat protection people talk about house cats they mean cats that never go outside. Some people like to look after their cats like this and I suppose for expensive pedigrees there is a protection issue. It has never seemed right to me though.
I have friends with a cat that lives completely outdoors. This particular cat doen't look very well but I think she doesn't get wormed or de flead either. This doesn't seem right either. Although if a cat has grown up like that it would be unlikely that they would change their behaviour and become happy to spend time in a noisy household.
So the long and the short of all this is that the options are huge. Basic cat care involves a good meal twice a day, flea and worm treatment once in winter and more often in summer. This is the biggest expense. You will be aware that generally cats are superior beings and having one as your friend is a great honour. TS Eliot's book 'Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats' is a lovely description of many cats.The Ad-Dressing Of Cats by T. S. Eliot
You've read of several kinds of Cat,
And my opinion now is that
You should need no interpreter
To understand their character.
You now have learned enough to see
That Cats are much like you and me
And other people whom we find
Possessed of various types of mind.
For some are same and some are mad
And some are good and some are bad
And some are better, some are worse--
But all may be described in verse.
You've seen them both at work and games,
And learnt about their proper names,
Their habits and their habitat:
How would you ad-dress a Cat?
So first, your memory I'll jog,
And say: A CAT IS NOT A DOG.
And you might now and then supply
Some caviare, or Strassburg Pie,
Some potted grouse, or salmon paste--
He's sure to have his personal taste.
(I know a Cat, who makes a habit
Of eating nothing else but rabbit,
And when he's finished, licks his paws
So's not to waste the onion sauce.)
A Cat's entitled to expect
These evidences of respect.
And so in time you reach your aim,
And finally call him by his NAME.
So this is this, and that is that:
And there's how you AD-DRESS A CAT.
this is a good link for more of hte same http://www.catquotes.com/thenamingofcats.htm