I bet this isn’t a well known fact. Or at least it’s not thought of much. Those of us cats who live with or even near humans are bilingual. We have our own language that we use with each other. When that fails, we just get into fights. But when we need to talk to humans, we have to learn another language—the one the humans use.
So, those of us living near or even with humans know two languages. If we hear another human language, we don’t always understand it right away. We need time just as humans do to learn the new language.
I know my girl can understand we cats have our own language that we speak. She is a good one to stand back and let us talk to each other without interruption. She can’t understand what we are saying per se. I know because she didn’t always understand me whenever I talk to her. So, to compensate, I tended to repeat the same one syllable word until she understand.
I know she’s not stupid. She just has a hard time learning a language from just listening to it. My girl reads a lot. I’ll let her tell you about the sorts of things she has read in her life. Besides, she did learn to understand me. I just had to make it a little easier on her.
Oh, I did learn to say her name correctly, but usually I just call her “Al,” because it’s easier for me. We cats just don’t have the same vocal organs as you humans do. She knows when I’m calling her for something and that’s all that matters.