I am pretty sure that animal mentation goes beyond anything people commonly believe. I am still trying to overcome basic prejudices...like everybody else, I'm capable of interpreting stuff according to what I was taught, while something contradictory is happening right in front of me. Far beyond knowing when we're coming home, I have had ample evidence that animals know what I'm thinking, what I'm feeling, understand quite a lot of what I'm saying, and can both predict and cause what I am going to do next. I have a whole book about this in mind, so I'll just add this: In the past 4 years I've come to believe that instinct takes in much more specific things than I formerly thought. It's less, ""I have a vague incomprehensible prompting to engage in certain behaviors, and I don't know why,"" and more, ""Oh look! That Inuit in the TV program has caught a seal. It's a female, and one of those speckled ones--the very best eating! Hey, Daniel and Jill, are you paying attention? That's the kind to get when you go to the supermarket. Hey! Are you listening?""