As Diego-san and I have developed our relationship over the past couple of years, I've come to appreciate him more and more. He makes me appreciate (at times) that I'm around for him yet he's constantly expressing his individuality. I respect that.
So over the past few weeks I've made it a point to compliment him at what a great cat he is. And without exception immediately following these confessions he does something that he knows violates house rules like scratching furniture of hopping up on the dining room table.
I'm living with a smart yet defiant cat.