I think that much is revealed by a person's treatment of animals. Good, kind people treat the weaker species with understanding, patience, and gentleness. Such people must be good and kind, because the power differential between the animals and ourselves is vast. We are like gods to our pets. We have god-like abilities. How could a cat understand the way by which we control light, sound, temperature, and even the availability of food and water with seemingly little or no effort? Other humans can defend themselves, or are otherwise protected by our community. Animals are largely defenseless, with only a thin degree of protection by the law and custom. For reason of their defenselessness, it is particularly wicked to mistreat animals. I believe that if someone is mean to an animal, then they are capable of worse deeds towards human beings.
Both of my cats like me and seek out my company. They do not hide when I am around. I feel like they consider me to be their friend. I feel like they both understand my ways. I can communicate easily with them about simple things. They do not understand English, but understand the basic parameters of reading my body language. When I tell them something, if it is simple and can be easily guessed, then more times than not, they guess the correct meaning. I respect their intelligence, such as it is. I feel flattered and privileged to have their friendship.