Yesterday, Nicole and I lost one of our beloved cats, Hogan.
"Hogie" was 16 years old, and a real character. With his sister Kelly and the encroachment of his monopoly of Nicole's attention when I arrived 5 years ago, he spent most of the time trying to act like the macho alpha dog of the house. However, the tough guy persona was a comically thin acting attempt, because at heart, he was an incredibly affectionate and love-seeking ball of mush goo!!
He had his specific routines with Nicole, and then developed a few unique ones just for me. Notably, practically every time we saw each other, Hogie and I would do our "bump" -- he'd head-butt my fist bump a couple times on greeting before going back to whatever we were doing. Another thing he started doing the last year as he got older and softer was so damn cute: he reach his paws up at me like a little kid asking to be picked up, I'd pick him up, and then he wrap his paws over my shoulder while pressing his body against my chest -- all the while purring loudly, head-butting the side of my head and drooling (he drooled whenever he was being cuddled by anyone; messy but kind of adorable in a gross way!).
We will miss him so much because of these aspects of his personality. Pets are amazing in the sense that they'll give you what you give them. I know people who leave the dog in backyard like a lawn gnome or who see their cats as a candle on the windowsill. However, if you open up and show love for them, they love you back ten times over. If you give them the freedom to express themselves in your environs, they'll entertain the heck out of you. If you treat them like part of the family, they truly will become part of your family (and usually without the petty bickering that the human members of a family engage in).
Hogie Bogie, we will miss you so much; rest in peace, sweet puppy...