Meredith's cat Oliver (he isn't a kitten any more, but he is small) is very smart, very sweet, and a little bit dog-like. He follows me around and looks for attention and affection much like Badger does.
He is also much more curious than Badger and into everything.
When Meredith and Anthony are gone, he is a much better-behaved cat - he doesn't seem inclined to misbehave or cause trouble when they're not around. He still wants to play, is still incredibly nosy and curious, and still wants to make friends with Badger - who loathes him and is highly suspicious of his every move. Oh - and jealous, too.
Right now, Badger's toys are piled on my bed and partially stuffed under a pillow, to keep them away from nosy Oliver.
This is a link to a fascinating, animal-centered discussion of cat intelligence. The article points up many flaws in old-fashioned, lab-based tests of animal intelligence. Although cats have been used as lab subjects for many years, the author points up that "Having evolved to be self-sufficient, they [cats] lack the urge to appease social superiors or gain acceptance into a pack or herd."
Like dogs, cats have vision that differs significantly from humans (more acute in some ways, less acute in others, with lack of ability to distinguish some colors, like red). They navigate by feel (ultra-sensitive whiskers) and have far better hearing than people do. A cat's sense of smell is much more sensitive than humans, but less sensitive than a dog's. Cat paws are much more dexterous than dog paws, hence - all the stuff they can manipulate, open, and as unfortunate mice have discovered throughout history - play with. Much of cat play is hunting behavior - as anyone who has watched their cat hide, sneak, and pounce - such as Oliver grabbing my pant leg when I walk by him and he thinks I haven't seen him.
Cats learn from observation and have excellent short- and long-term memory. Their spatial view of the world explains why Oliver feels "at home" in every inch of our house that he can reach, but unlike even Badger, will sit by the door and not leave even if strongly invited. Oliver apparently feels no need to leave his small world right now, and his curiosity is limited to the walls of his house. He is very funny, very sweet, and a very smart little cat. I'll miss him a lot when he is gone.