In The Little Prince, the fox was just a fox to the little prince until he made encounters with the fox for several days and started to give his thought and then heart to the fox. Until one gives a thought to something or someone, the something or the someone doesn’t mean anything to him/her.
He is my 9-year-old cat who flew with me from Nebraska to California to Texas. He was just a kitten when I met him first, wary. I gave my thoughts and then heart to him and then he became my sweet cat (Yes, sometimes, he is pain, I admit.). There were times when he almost died of FUS and he looked sad waiting for me by the window when I returned home sad. And many other stories with him.
I am unsure he is aware of the 9 years of history with me. But it seems he HOPEs to be loved, rubbed, fed and played, all the time.