At my family home there were two pets in residence. Both cats. Let's call them Champagne and Caviar (because hell, that's what I'd call them now). Champagne was my cat - a stray tabby who turned up on the doorstep when I was about ten years old, and won my heart. Caviar was brought for my sister A as a kitten and immediately adopted her as its new mother. They were inseparable.
Before Caviar arrived on the scene, A, being quite small at the time, tried to bond with Champagne too by showering it with the typical affectionate gestures of a five year old - pulling its tail and occasionally trying to eat it. Champagne, being a bit of a cool cat at the best of times, was not impressed. But Caviar never seemed to mind A's occasionally clumsy but always well-intentioned adoration.
Just as Champagne and Caviar studiously ignored each other at all times (they would both turn their heads away on the rare occasions that they walked past each other in the house), so Caviar and I also had a relationship based on mutual avoidance. She didn't bother me, I didn't bother her, and it suited us both fine. Our parents, while professing to like neither pet, were often to be found cuddling up to them and were always their best hope for a breakfast bowl of Whiskas (other pet foods are available).
Sadly Champagne left us for the great cattery in the sky a couple of years ago. And with A away at university Caviar rattled around the house with mum and dad. At that point, much to everyone's surprise, she bonded with dad. She slept on his bed, and while he complained that she would nibble his toes in the night, he never kicked her out and always left his door ajar for her. He would often scoop her up and stroke her and while she wriggled half heartedly she never jumped out of his arms. They were, in a strange way, like an old married couple. Caviar and I however, continued as we always had whenever I was home, by not acknowledging each other at all.
We think she misses dad. For the first few days I swear she wandered around looking for him. But what's really strange is that suddenly she's all over me. On Sunday afternoon I sat in the garden on my own and got a little bit tearful. Suddenly Caviar shot all the way up the garden from the garden behind and jumped onto my lap. She has never, ever done that before. Earlier, when I'd gone up to use the bathroom, she followed me up the stairs and waited for me before following me back down again. Mum thinks she can sense that I'm somehow connected to Dad. Funny how she never noticed before though eh?