No seriously, she can. Not in English, mind you, but in a fairly straightforward dialiect of feline that's easily translated. You laugh, but she can.
Some very basic background is required. We have 3 cats. Two of them ("the twins") or actually the quintuplets--of which we have a brother and sister--are 6 years old. He, Tiger, is an orange tabby and she, Storm, is an amazing mixture of colors and patterns, of which black, orange and white are the most prominent. The third is Frankie, all white with blue eyes (she can hear) who came along as a stray with a bullet in her femur (that's another story for another day.)
It's been a while since I first noticed that Storm's vocalizations are quite complex. She will sometimes give half to almost full meows, high to low in pitch, with churps and gurgles interspersed with some purr/growl noises. It's easy to recognize that she's talking to you when she does this--she looks at you and even cocks her head for emphasis at the right places.
One night not long ago, Tiger and Storm went out to our attached garage to look for mice (or generally explore) before dinner. Unfortunately for them, we went to bed and forgot to let them back in the house until the next morning, when my husband let them in for breakfast. When I came downstairs a little later, a very indignant Storm was sitting on the counter, in the corner you must walk by to get to the coffee (she doesn't get on the counter often). Boy, did she ream me out for leaving them in the garage!! She lectured me with for minutes with meows, chirps, growls, nodding and cocking her head, looking straight at me--and I knew precisely what she meant.
Ok, you say, but that doesn't prove she can talk.
But wait, there's more: fast forward 2 weeks, when Tiger went into the garage but Storm didn't, and "somehow" we forgot him out there. I got up early the next morning for work, and Storm met me before I got to the chair where I put my shoes on. She started in with the same cat lecture, the exact same meow/chirp/growl/mew in the same tones, with eye contact and nodding for emphasis, and I immediately knew that she was telling me that her brother was left in the garage all night. Without shoes I went out to the kitchen and let him in--and Storm had nothing further to tell me. She licked his face and went back to watching me put my shoes on.
She's one smart cat!