I talk to them all, all the time. I usually ask them (the first time I see one of them in the morning or when I get home at night) "Hi Baby! Did you have a good day/night? I hope so! Every kitty should have good days/nights." ghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (I think Trent wanted to type in his reply...he's still working on the typing skills
I do think they understand us more than we give them credit for. Here's a good example. Ophelia decided that she really didn't like Annie and the other little girls and has lived up on top of our bookcase headboard since Annie came home.
(It's not as bad as it sounds...she's got beds, food, water, litterbox, toys up there (it's big enough for all of it), and she does come down to snuggle Daddy a few times every day.) Recently she got brave and was coming down and even made it so far as coming down the hall and down a few stairs!
GO OPHELIA!!! She even came down and across the room when ALL of the other cats were in the room. Oh gosh, I was so proud! But Daddy was freaking out because she was almost nose to nose with Ginger and since he wanted to go to sleep and not stay up to make sure everyone was nice to his Baby Doll, he picked her up and took her back to the top of the bed.
She hasn't come back down, except for Daddy snuggles, since then.
So last night I had a little talk with her. I told her that we were both really proud of her when she came down, and we really wanted her to be a part of the family outside of the bedroom. And I told her that Daddy didn't mean that he wanted her to stay up there but he is just over protective of her and that's why he carried her back there. This morning...she came down and went into the window.
I'm so proud of her!