She and Kara Kanat Suleyman were lovers 12 years ago, although it has been long time since then they still have deep mutual feelings for each other. Caterina even expresses, in a monologue, that she loves Süleyman . The two have a playful relationship, when they meet again, he calls Florence cunning and Caterina isn't angered by this and only comments that he's got some nerve to be calling them such things . Caterina cares deeply for Süleyman and she respects him, listening to his words and appearing troubled when he's beaten down . When Süleyman decides to stay behind in Florence for a while, she is visibly pleased by his decision. When her own have attempted to take her life she lets Süleyman stay in her bedchambers, which shows that she trusts him .
There is a common misconception that Süleyman's eagle Caterina has been named after the Gonfaloniere, a fact which has been proven wrong. Their names are pure coincidence and is actually what sparked their meeting to begin with .