Welcome back Kristen! And it's good to hear that your quest is ongoing. I completly agree with Kenny's recommendations. You've got a very large space, and, based on your goals of high quality sound that the neighbors can also enjoy, the speakers you choose will have to move a lot of air - serious testicular fortitude to use a term from recent politics. I don't know of any speakers with that quality that could be had for price range of less than $600. The Def Tech speakers Kenny recommended are outstanding values in their price range and would certainly qualify. A shop I recommended earlier, Audio Advisor, has the NHT Classic Four (opened box) at $499 ea. (http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=0NHT4
) which is half price. At $1000 for the pair, I don't think you can do much better for the high end of your budget. Kenny's recommendation of Audiogon is also a great source of audio bargains.
Don't know what to say about your wayward cats. How's your aim with a squirt bottle?