I suppose it should be flattering to be sought after and boundaries drawn for my attention if it were not for two cats doing the rivalry.
My black cat was wild as a kitten, and had a certain amount of psychological damage in his young life. His mother was run over by a car, leaving several kittens to try to revive her before I found her body several days later. I caught all the kittens and found a new home for them, except for the little black and white one. I started calling him Tux, because of the white band around his neck. It looked like a tuxedo collar. He was so wild I had to trap him and get him used to me before I could domesticate him.
He suffered the loss of his mother and siblings at the same time, and it would be quite some time before he settled down at peace. He definitely adopted me as his new mother, and enjoyed laying in my lap.
Then came the interloper into our home. Peaches. My husband was given a little yellow and white ball of fur; her leg was broken, and my grandson nursed her back to health before giving her to us. She wasn’t bigger than a minute, but was a moving missile across any slick surface in our home she could find. Building up steam, running full speed, and then slamming on her brakes, she would skid sideways several feet across the room. It was so funny. She was fearless. And she decided she didn’t want to be my husband’s cat, and so she adopted me as her new mom.
Just one problem–she didn’t want Tux anywhere in the house. This little ball of yellow fur would hiss and attack him until he ran away. He had always been a timid sort. He finally would wait until late at night to come in and eat his food we left out.
This went on for several months until she got grown, and he decided he would challenge her. He came in whether she liked it or not. She finally accepted him, but they must have figured out some boundaries. He wasn’t allowed in my room or in the kitchen. She would tolerate him, even sit close to him, as long as he honored her rules. He was fixed, so thankfully no worry over little kittens.
Lately, he has been challenging the forbidden territory, and wanting my attention more. She counteracts by sticking close to me at all times. I suspect she has me trained.
Poor Tux, he has two females ruling the roost, so to speak. I suspect so many human brothers and men could relate.