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.
Savez-vous que les caractères des chats changent ? Apprenez d’avantage avec Dave sur ses chats dont la personnalité varie en fonction des pays où ils vivent.
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?
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