National Geographic has a feature every couple of years about animal intelligence. It's a bar that's constantly being moved so they don't catch, or even surpass, humans in that area. Every time I turn on the news, I thinks it's too late.
Our multi-generational household is shared with two dogs, two cats, two parrots. All are rescues. The second parrot is the only one we went in search of. While they all comfort, love and entertain, they each teach me every day. The cats trick the dogs all the time, the dogs have taught us how to give them what they want and the parrots change the tone and inflection of common sentences to get an appropriate response from us.
Give any one of them an unfamiliar task and they will all find a way to complete it. Unless it's the cats. They never do anything they don't want to do.
With all this in-house entertainment, you'd be surprised how many videos I watch online of crows at play. They know how to have fun. Windshield wipers are an amusement ride, jar lids are toboggans and car hoods offer fresh snow on which to make crow angels.
Corvids, dolphins and octopus are the top three performers in self-awareness, intelligence and play. I've been fascinated by all three my whole life. Nothing will pull me out of a story faster than an author mocking animals.
I'm not back to typing full time yet but I have pulled out my sketchbook that is full of Stanley the crow. I think its time he got his own story. A little bit of romance, a touch of horror but definitely the happy ending he failed to receive in real life.