Wendelina took over my husband's textbook as he was preparing an exam yesterday. Here she is, looking like she knows all the answers. Snalbert looks skeptical, as he usually does.
Wendy seems to be fairly intelligent — not that brains are an essential quality in a house cat. Very smart cats become easily bored and frustrated, so they keep exploring new ways to destroy things and get themselves into trouble, and sometimes danger. We don't have this problem with our four. At the other end of the spectrum, I once knew a Himalayan who was so stupid that she forgot where her food bowl was from one day to the next. If she got hungry, she chewed on woolen socks or sweaters, the carpeting, or whatever was around. She may not have been as stupid as she appeared: after all, she trained her owner to carry her into the kitchen twice a day.
Wendy has never been savvy enough to realize how safe she is here with us, but she's making progress. I believe that her socialization is less a matter of intelligence than overcoming her feral instincts and the training she received from her wild mother. (Wendy was born in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant. When we got her, I had to teach her how to play with toys.)
She learned how to talk to us, which surprised us. When we ask her questions, she'll politely squeak a response. She also figured out how to befriend all three cats, which was not easy; the Persians have never been fond of any other cats, including each other. Wendy is also the first singing cat we've had. She carries her green furry snake around, crying and chirping at the top of her lungs. It's a hilarious and puzzling but definitely melodic sound. But her finest accomplishment is her ability to corral, or lose, all of her many sparkly toys under the same piece of furniture. I always find several of them lined up neatly in a row under a bookcase or a chest of drawers. As soon as I retrieve them for her, she begins all over again. I have no idea why she's so methodical. But if cats could play bocce, Wendy would be a champ.
She is still very young, so we are eager to see what other talents she develops.