Here is a video of my cats, Hermes and Shelley, demonstrating once and for all that cats understand English perfectly well, especially when the topic of conversation is about something that interests them!
(Click the full-screen icon on the right-hand menu after starting the video, because? some of the captions don’t come out otherwise.)
Actually, my cats function at genius level ALL the time, not just around meals. However, they do have a high vocabulary level around terms associated with food. It is truly a marvel to behold.