If you are a cat person understanding your cat is important to you. People bond to their pets and, although they can't talk, we can communicate with them.
If your cat licks you, it is a sign of affection. He or she is saying they feel totally safe around you and they consider you a family member. They are reinforcing these feelings by cleaning you as their mothers did when they were kittens.
Another way to communicate is for you to understand "Tail Talk". When you learn this communication tool you will be able to tell what your cat is feeling at a glance. A happy feline holds their tail high and walks with confidence. If your cat is annoyed they will twitch the end of their tail. When the tail is lashing back and forth watch out. This means they are throughly ticked off and are about to attack you. Your cat is trying to say "I'm angry leave me alone". It is wise to never pull your cats tail, it can cause permanent damage. Pulling on the tail can over stretch or tear nerves and can cause temporary (or permanent) inability to walk or chronic pain. Your cat needs their tail for balance. When walking on narrow surfaces, such as a fence, it acts as a counterweight.
Owners have always asked "Does my cat love me?" They send you signs of their love in subtle ways. If your feline looks at you and slowly blinks their eyes, it is their way of showing you some love and blowing you a kiss. Your cat would love it if you say "I love you too". By slowly blinking your eyes back at them is a way of telling them that you love them too.
Pet owners often falsely think cats are very independent and don't mind being alone. Felines are very social animals and can form a strong bond with their humans. Your cat could be so attached to you that being away from you will cause separation anxiety. It will trigger extreme nervousness and troubling behavior. Scratching doors or window frames is their way of soothing themselves. Some signs to look for are over grooming, refusing to eat, or using excessive vocalization when you leave. You can help soothe your cat by giving them plenty of toys, cat trees, and window perches. Windows are "Kitty TV" for them and keeps them entertained. This might ease the anxiety of your leaving. Some owners leave a TV on so the kitty can listen to human voices to break the silence of your home.
There is an age old question "Are cats smarter than dogs?" Cat owners will say yes. Cats have 300 million neurons in the area of the brain that is associated with intelligence, processing, planning and more. Dogs only have 160 million neurons in the same area. As to learning, cats and dogs are about equal. Cats can vocalize more than dogs as they have many more tones to their "speech". Dogs have much better noses and can follow a scent for miles.