I'd like to talk about my two cats, who are called Misha and Masha, and they're nine years old. And because I work for the British Council and I've worked in lots of different parts of the world, they're 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, so 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, and we thought can we ... have we got room ... can we adopt these two new cats? And then when 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 that 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 flap so they used to wander about it.
When it came to leave the UK, we discovered that they'd in fact had about five or six different homes and had made friends with all kinds of people along the street and used to go and get fed and get stroked and cuddled by all of 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'd climb back down again.
And then we moved to Guangzhou 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. They just go out onto the balcony. But the interesting thing is that their personality has ... seems to have changed in every country they've lived 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 living, to being 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.