The cats of San Lucas seemed like standard, wild cats when humanity first settled their world. They hunted wild game, sampled the newly imported delicacies where possible, and learned to keep their distance from human settlements. They were smart enough to realize that human weapons were dangerous, but so were many Earth species. It never occurred to the colonists that the big cats were any more intelligent than that for the first several decades. They had other things to worry about. Life. Death. Et cetera. So they kept on going about their lives, driving off the more aggressive cats, going out on hunts from time to time, and doing all the other things that humans do in a new land.