In real life, Abishag is a month older than Ira – and does she ever emphasize that seniority. (They’re actually half-brother and half-sister.) She gets the patch of sunshine on the rug in the early morning, as well as anything her brother leaves in his dish. (If he’s planning on saving some breakfast for a snack later, forget it. I usually hide his dish from Abishag so he can indulge later in the day.) If she wants the cushion, it’s Ira’s tough luck – he can sleep on the floor. And so it goes.
But then, every so often, little brother decides to assert himself. He chases Abishag until she turns and starts chasing him – and then he leaps up onto filing cabinets and furniture, where she can’t follow. (She’s too plump, frankly.) Ira’s even walked the ceiling beams, while Abishag and I watch from below – me urging him to be careful, and his sister snorting with irritation.
It doesn’t seem to matter whether siblings are human or cat – they tease each other, play together, squabble about sharing … But when it’s time for a visit to the vet, Ira tries hard to protect his sister from the ‘evil doctor with that needle.’ (Just like human brothers I’ve known.) At least they don’t want the keys to the car.