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Do cats remember what we say to them? Studies suggest cats know at least a few words, their name, and recognize our voices. Whether or not they will respond to us is always a question mark. They do what they want, which just makes them funnier, more relatable, and even a little inspiring sometimes.

Scientists doubt a cat understands words, aside from possibly their name. At least not in the same way that we, or a dog, does. But then there are exceptional cats like Billi, a cat who really surprises everyone with her apparent command of words.

The senior kitty has access to over 64 colorful buttons on the floor corresponding to words spoken aloud. But her fans know she has several top favorites, such as ‘Mad!’ Judging by her command of the buttons, it’s hard to doubt that Billi understands much more than her name. And she also seems to remember and respond to what her mom Kendra says to her. Here’s just one of many examples you can see on Billi’s YouTube channel.

Billi Holds Mom Accountable

Recently, Kenda, a zoo relief veterinarian, was about to go out for the day. But Billi, who is 15 years old, decided she wanted one of her all-time favorite things. Her top favorite things are food and her dad, but next is her ‘Fan Toy.’ (The toy got its name because it once hung from the ceiling fan by a piece of sewing elastic.)

More about the Fan Toy from BilliSpeaks:

She Remembered Mom’s Promise

Billi pushed the button, causing the word ‘Fan Toy’ to come through the speakers. But Kendra knew she was headed out, so Billi would need to wait until later for her playtime reward.

“Mom home later, then Fan Toy, ok?”

Billi Speaks BilliSpeaks, cat pushes talking button, Cat holds Mom accountable for Promise, TheyCanTalk.org, Florida, Kendra Baker

Billi looks up at Mom via YouTube/BilliSpeaks

Billi walked over to her colorful buttons and looked up at Mom, who repeated, “Fan Toy later.”

Would Billi remember the promise when Kendra returned home? Ameowzingly, the senior kitty did! She immediately held Mom accountable, pushing the button for “All done,” as if to remind her she was done with her walk outside. Now it was time to deliver the goods.

“All done what?” Kendra asked the kitty.

Billi sits by the 'Fan Toy' button, holding Mom accountable

Billi Patiently Waited 

The cat circled around, came back, and pushed the Fan Toy button. Had the kitty been thinking of this moment all day? Or was it just her usual go-to button?

“Yes,” Kendra said. “You were very patient about fan toy earlier. All done walk,” she said. “Now fan toy.”

While some may say it’s anthropomorphizing, to Kendra, this was Billi holding her accountable for her promise. And we think so, too! And it also seems to show an amazing memory and so much determined willpower. 

For more Billi content, check her out on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. At the time of this writing, Billi’s health has been declining due to advanced kidney disease. We send Billi and her mom and dad lots of love and healing purrs.

Billi and her Mom have done important work with the research project TheyCanTalk.org. The project is exploring how non-humans can express themselves in language-like ways. Certainly, animals seem to be much more aware and complex than many people can comprehend.

Video by BilliSpeaks:

 

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