ORLANDO, Fla. — When Travis Claytor comes home from work, there is Cece, a mint-slurping, Instagram-featured pet pig wagging his tail, to greet him.
Topping the scales at well over 100 pounds, Cece likes his nightly rituals of cuddling on the couch before he excuses himself to go to a plastic doghouse in his own bedroom.
For the Claytors, their nearly 3-year-old pet pig seems more like a dog and on some days, even a member of their family.
Travis and his wife, Lindsay, celebrated Cece's birthday, donning a hat on their pig.
Cece even has his own Instagram account with about 100 followers where they post pictures of the animal's lips curled up in a grin or wearing sunglasses.
The Claytors, who live on a 10-acre farm in rural Plant City outside Tampa, have forged a bond with their pig, which has helped give Cece free rein in the house, after a bath, of course.
They say their pig is smart and cleaner than a dog.
"There's sort of an emotional connection there because of that intelligence," said Travis Claytor, a communications executive in Orlando.
"It's different than a dog or a horse, being able to just by his behavior and know what he's feeling. You look in his eye and say, 'OK, you're in a good mood. OK, you're tired. OK, you're ready to play."
The Claytors laughed when they discovered how much the pig loves peppermints. The first time Cece sucked on one, they worried he was choking. Then they realized he likes to make the taste last longer. Now, Cece sometimes performs tricks on cue for guests, spinning in a circle, to see if he can coax a mint out of them.
The pig, who has hints of a mohawk, feels wiry to the touch. He comes off as sweet and doesn't mind when a stranger pets him, although with the Claytors' dog, Cece is the alpha, the one in charge.
Cece often spends his day, relaxing in the mud and hanging out in the pasture with the Claytors' goat and horse.
"He likes to be dirty," Travis Claytor said. "Before he gets on my couch, he gets a bath. That's the way it is."
He sprays him down with a hose — Cece squealing loudly in protest — before they let him into their house, which is pristine and not to be confused with a pigsty
Their pig doesn't regularly shed and has no scent after his bath. They monitor their pig, just like a dog, for warning signs that he needs to be let outside to use the bathroom.
"We were just surprised how clean he was," said Lindsay Claytor, a commercial banker, who received Cece as a present for her birthday nearly three years ago.
As Lindsay Claytor talks, Cece lays on a blanket, full of mints. His eyes droop and he is still — another day of living the good life.