Heartwarming tales from multiple netizens suggest that cats, especially stray “boss” cats, are smarter than we thought.

Haters will say that cats are jerks because they break expensive things and cause all kinds of trouble for their owners, but cat-lovers know that the benefits of owning a cat far outweigh their destructive tendencies because they’re cute, cuddly, agile, and extremely smart.

Some feline fans even claim cats are perfectly capable of comprehending human speech, even if they choose to ignore it most of the time. While we may never know for sure how well they understand what we’re trying to tell them, some Japanese netizens have anecdotal evidence that cats can actually understand complete sentences.

It started when one netizen, @b_st_info, shared what happens whenever their cat goes missing:

“My cat often escapes, and when he does I ask the leader of a group of stray cats to tell my cat to come home if he sees him. My cat always comes back within 20 minutes. I thought it was a coincidence at first but it’s happened five times in a row now! I have to admit that cats really do understand human speech.”

The boss cat seems to have understood what the netizen was asking of it, and even obeyed. That sounds preposterous, but it happened five times, so could the cat have actually been that clever? Cats have been known to be generous and helpful on occasion…we have even heard of a cat who helps lost humans out of the woods.

The netizen also explains in follow-up tweets that the boss cat even comes to their garden the next day to make sure their cat came back. You might think that that’s just coincidence, but @b_st_info insists that they otherwise never see that cat near their house, as its usual territory is in a park a little ways away.

If that anecdote is not enough evidence for you that cats really are geniuses, then consider the stories from other netizens that poured in after @b_st_info’s tweet went viral:

“I’ve experienced this too. My kitten disappeared for a more than a month when it wasn’t feeling well, and I had half given up hope when I sincerely said to its mother, ‘Tell the kitten to come back soon’. After that, it came back all skin and bones! I really believe she understood me.”

“A long time ago I told a stray cat that used to hang around, ‘You can bring a friend!’, and the next day it really brought one (its girlfriend?). I also had a dog at that time and I told it it wasn’t allowed to fight with him, and it never did.”

“I’ve had a similar experience. There was a stray cat who bullied another stray in my neighborhood, and I doted on both of them. One day I looked into the bully’s eyes and said, ‘Please stop bullying your friend and try to get along!’, and it actually stopped. They even started cuddling each other…”

“My cat was lost in the mountain woods once, and when I went to call for him a stray cat would often come out to play, so I said to it, ‘Have you seen my cat? Please, if you know her please call her!’ Then it disappeared into the woods and three minutes later came back with my cat. Nobody believes me when I tell this story, but cats really can understand us…”

“Thank you! My cat had been missing for two weeks and I was really worried it wasn’t going to come back. I saw your tweet and immediately went to ask the local boss cat (who also happens to be my cat’s father), and that same day my cat came back! Thank you so much (multiple bow emojis)”

“I had a stray cat leader that kept coming to my house to fight every day. I said to it, ‘If my cat’s ever in trouble please help him out! I’ll be sure to give you my thanks!’ One day, my cat got scared of something and ran away. For three days he was too scared to respond to my calls, and kept hiding under cover and running away from me, but the whole time the boss cat was by his side, and after three days I was able to safely catch him!”

“I totally understand! When I had just gotten my cat, he liked to escape, so I always asked the stray who lived near my house, ‘If you see my little Oreo, please tell him to come home!’, and after a little while he would bring Oreo back. This happened multiple times! They definitely understand!”

Interestingly, almost all of the netizen anecdotes are about stray cats. Could it be that all cats can understand, but domestic cats are just too spoiled to listen? Or could it be that the stray cats these netizens interacted with are actually the fabled bakeneko, which are said to be able to speak human languages, like one cat a veterinarian encountered, and change into human shape?

Bakeneko can be mischievous and are believed to sometimes exact revenge on humans, according to folklore, so it’s a good thing @b_st_info repaid their furry assistant with bonito flakes and cat treats, just in case. Make sure you treat your local strays well, or you never know what might happen!

Source: Twitter/@b_st_info via My Game News Flash
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