When Tut died, I was really upset-- partly because I loved him and partly because I was losing yet another part of what it meant to be home. At Christmas, it was strange to be in a random apartment instead of the house but it was so comforting to have Tut crawl into my bed in the middle of the night and curl up on my torso, purring.
Hooligan is not exactly comforting. Petting a cat is supposed to be soothing and lower one's blood pressure. Petting Hooligan, on the other hand, requires nerves of steel. At any moment, he could snap and claw you. I was reminded of this the hard way my second day of vacation. I was on the couch, working on my research project, and he jumped up on the back of the couch really near my head. I was happily petting him when he suddenly scratched me. I was rather miffed. Then dad came home and saw Hooligan perched by me.
"Huh," Dad mused. "He doesn't usually do that." Hooligan usually sleeps on chairs that are pushed in at the kitchen table, or under the kitchen island. It turns out, my homecoming was making Hooligan atypically social. He really did like me. He wanted to be near me and lay by my head and purr. He just didn't want me to touch him. Once we came to that understanding, I began to enjoy my furry, purring couch decoration.