definitely smarter than most people think
I've had cats my whole life and most of them weren't very talkative. My two cats now won't ever shut up! When they were kittens and my boy cat would meow at me, I'd "meow" back, making it sound like the word "mamma". Now, when he's walking around the house looking for me he meows "mamma" really loudly until he finds me. My friends think it's hilarious. But they definitely have different meows for different things. There are polite meows, urgents meows, "something's not right" meows, feed me meows, etc. My girl cat always meows when we say her name, and often stings together a bunch of varying meows that sound like a sentence. If I could speak cat I'm sure I'd find that she's been saying alot of interesting stuff.