I’d like to talk about my two cats who are called Misha and Masha and they are nine years old, and, because I work for the British Council and I have worked in lots of different parts of the world, they are quite international cats; so they were born in St. Petersburg, Russia around the dawn of the Millennium, in the middle of winter. And St Petersburg winters are very, very cold, it’s kind of minus 30 degrees, and some friends of mine found these two tiny little kittens in the snow and brought them in and then sent an email around the office saying ‘who can look after these two cats’. And my wife and I already had two cats at the time from Indonesia, erm and we thought can we, have we got room, can we adopt these teeny cats and then we saw them, they were just so cute that we couldn’t say no, so we brought them home and so they lived with us for like two years in Russia, and then we moved back to the UK and they had to stay in France for six months, erm, just to check they didn’t have rabies... erm before they were allowed into the UK. And then they lived with us in Cambridge and we had a cat flaps so they used to wander about it.
When it came to leave the UK, we discovered that they in fact had about five or six different homes and made friends with all kinds of people along the street they used to go and get fedded (fed), get stroked or cuddled by all our neighbours.
Then we moved to Mexico and we had a house with a garden so we had to build a special fence that kind of curled in on itself so that the cats would climb up and then feel that they were starting to fall down so they climbed back down again.
And then we moved to Guangzhou… erm this time last year so now they are ‘flat cats’, erm, they’ve not been squashed, they just live in our flat, live in our apartment and they don’t go out… erm they just go out onto the balcony, but the interesting thing is that their personality has seemed to have changed in every country they live in. So Masha used not to be very friendly towards people, as she’s got older, she’s now quite a cuddly cat. And they’ve adapted to live in…being a kind of free to roam about and then being in the garden and now they seem to be very happy just being in a flat.
Do you know that cats' characters can change? Find out more from Dave about his two cuddly cats whose personalities vary with the countries they live in.
Do the Preparation task first. Then listen to the audio. Next go to each Task and do the activity. If you need help, you can read the Transcript at any time.
We suggest you do the preparation exercises before you listen to the recording. Match the words with the descriptions.
Read the statements and decide if they are true or false.
If your job allowed you to move around the world, in which countries would you like to work and why?
It is sometimes said that cats are "aloof and indifferent" whereas dogs are "loyal and friendly". Do you agree?
If you are going to get a pet, what would you get?
can you help me?
At the beginning of the story the speaker say "who" and not "which" about Misha and Masha. But they are animals. Is "Who" used for animals also?
As you probably know, many pet owners think of their pets as people! This is why the speaker uses 'who'. Most English speakers will use 'who' for animals they know well, especially pets, but will use 'which' or 'that' when talking about animals they don't know.
Hope that helps!
The LearnEnglish Team
Thank you very much Jeremy!
hi, I don't agree. For me, it's the different way of dealing with the dog or the cat . While into relationship among human and dogs is the dog that accomplish more important effort to create the relationship, indeed the dog accomplish all the order that we give him. With the cat it's different. We should strive to better understand the cat. When you understand your cat, you create a wonderful relationship. Maybe better than with the dog
Cats are NOT aloof and indifferent! I have got two cats. Yes, they are russians cats too )) Their names are Markiz and Lilu
They are so cute and kind. They like when we stroke them. They like to sleep in our beds, sit on our laps and play with us. They also love to play with each other. They love each other as wife and husband. And they have very different characters.
Markiz is a big cat, who is afraid of nothing, loves to eat meat, and catches anything that moves.
Lilu is a small pussycat, she is afraid of everything, but she is affectionate. She likes eat dairy products such as yogurt.
i would prefer to travel to london, china and australia infact given the opportunity i would to travel all over the world, so that i can experience different cultures.
As of animals, i dont like them at all especially cats and dogs
i want to know if you can get marks when you write short hand in ielts test e.g dont do i have to write do not or jus dont
Hello Madam Boss,
I'd love to travel there too!
As for your question, its better to ask about IELTS in the IELTS section of this website. Anyway, you can use contractions in the IELTS writing paper if they are appropriate for the text. If you are asked to write something formal, some contractions might not be appropriate, but if you're asked to write a letter to a friend, they would be fine.
The LearnEnglish Team
I don't have a particular predisposition for animals, in spite of this I had a little dog named toy poodle Ducky who has lived with me ten years. Now I have a cat that is eleven years old. I took care of both even if the cat is aggressive and never stands still.
I love animals, but honestly, I don't like cats at all. They are so fawning and petted. The first time, the cats seems so kind and sweet, and then, they scratch you if they are disturbed. I agree that cats are aloof. They are molly-coddle and you can play with them just if/when they want that. I can associate the word "cat" with the word "diva". :))
first of all thanks for this competition
and i can say my best country who love to work and live is china ....australia ... Egypt because i wish to see the museum and read and learn about their history
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