Cat in the mirror

My cats picked up a habit where he looks at mirrors whenever he wants something.

Initially I thought he was looking for another cat, then his lost bother or maybe it was a habit we’d conditioned. Every time he wanted attention, food or water he’d look at any reflective surface he could find and meow at it

But I see him stare, look close, look far into it. I wonder if it’s not us he’s talking to. If he isn’t calling us through the mirror. Maybe he’s looking to himself, affirming he’s there, that he feels what he does and that what he sees is what he is.

What does it take for a cat to know himself?