When it comes to intelligence in a feline, Salem cannot be beat.
Whether it's because he developed street smarts living as a stray for the first 6 months of his life, or he's just naturally gifted, having Salem is like having a small, furry 3-year-old in the house. He's a complicated cat with complicated emotions. He's figured out how to open handled doors. He understands that it's warmer under blankets and will join us in bed on cold nights. He can jump so far and so high that he's impressed anti-cat people. His predatory skills are why we've never had a mouse problem in any place we've lived. I've seen him find a darting mouse, dash sideways, and land with one paw on the head, the other on the butt. Salem is a smart, smart, crazy smart cat.
Milo, on the other hand, is a blithering idiot.
I love my little guy. But, holy cow, is he not a cat. He can't even jump on things as high as the kitchen counter. He doesn't even know how to paw open a partially-opened door (in fact, he'll just butt his head against it until the door it full shut, then meow pitifully). As I've said on many an occasion, he's my dumb little chihuahua. I love him. I absolutely love him. I love his squeaky meow and the fact that he likes following me from room to room. But, man he is dumb.
Milo got into the habit of meowing out at night. It wasn't too late at night: we would feed them their last meal of the day, go upstairs, turn out the lights, and an hour later hear Milo. We tried to figure out why he was meowing. We figured it was due to the moving, but it was only at night. And almost exactly an hour after their last feeding. It wasn't until my husband got up, went out to the top of the steps, and called Milo's name after a series of meows did we understand why he started going this.
Milo, upon hearing his name, trotted up the stairs like a happy little elf, followed my husband into the bedroom, hopped onto the bed, and purred his little heart out.
The little bugger was crying because he had no clue where we were.
He always eventually figured it out -- I've found him on our bed every morning since the move-in -- but, every single night, he had a moment of, "WHERE ARE THEY?!" And who knows that long it lasted without our intervention.
So, like the proper crazy cat people, we fed the cats, went upstairs early and, when Milo would cry, we'd call out for him, and he'd follow our voices into the bedroom. Every single night. As if our bedroom changes on him.
Last night, I decided to skip the meowing and just bring him upstairs with us. He spent a few minutes with us before promptly returning downstairs. I looked over to my husband and went, "If he meows at midnight again because he doesn't know where we are, I'm going to lose my mind."
Within minutes, Milo returned to the room, this time with his teddy bear in his mouth.
Milo has this tiny cat toy that he has had since he was adopted. It was originally a stringed toy, but the string broke years ago. The fabric is dirty and thin. The eyes are missing. I bought him a replacement teddy, but he wasn't having it. His teddy is his favorite toy. When we moved, his love for the teddy bear increased threefold. He even brought the bear with him from room to room to room for the first three weeks.
Milo trotted into the room, dropped the teddy into the room, and proceeded to pay attention to us yet again. I nearly fell out of the bed from the cuteness attack.
I know this is an I Can Haz Cheezburger post, but oh well. That was stickin' cute. That he wanted to be with us at night, but first he needed to get his bear. A bear that he's had since he was 7 weeks old. A bear where no substitutions will compare. A bear that he plays with, tosses in the air, cleans, carries, pounces -- essentially treats it like a little kitten brother.
It's cute, dammit. And I feel stupidly lucky that I have two sweet, loving cats with adorable personalities. Even if one is technically as dumb as rocks.