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My two cats

Listen to Dave talking about travelling to different countries with his cats.

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Transcripts

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.

Discussion

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Language level

Upper intermediate: B2

Comments

No, I have never had a cat but I would like to have one someday when I was teen I’d had a husky but he is not with me anymore. How I didn't had a cat yet. My idea about its behavior is what I see In my friend's cats and it seems a little aggressive, but any way, I would like to have two dogs and one cat someday, have pets implies responsability, time and money to care of them propertly so for now no.

Yes, I had a cat for a long time ago, really I don't remember the name but it was special because it used to make a tricks like jumping against wall and so on. when I had this beautiful kitten I found it in the strip and I'm person that really loved animals so I adopted it. It was a nice experience.

Yes. I had.

Dear teachers! I have a question abut this text:
One of the statements that in Mexico, the speaker made special changes to his garden to make sure the Misha and Masha didn’t get out. And part of the text in which he speaks about it is next: 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. I chose "False" answer because in my opinion there is not some information about preventing them to get out but only about giving them opportunity to entertain themselves. But my answer was wrong. Please explain to me why my answer was wrong and which mistake I made in understanding incorrectly?

Hello Evgeny N

You could be right, but when the speaker says 'we had a house with a garden so we had to build a special fence', to me it sounds as if they built the fence to prevent the cats from leaving the garden. Since that seems to be a more likely explanation for this action, we chose True as the correct answer for that question.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

If I ever want to keep a pet I definitely choose a cat. nothing is as cute as a cat , specially a kitten. Some people believe that dogs are better because they are more loyal, but they should know sometimes people should learn loyalty from cats. I know a man who left her cat after he changed his house. it really hurt the poor cat.

My brother has a big, old, cute cat. She is a bicolor cat , white and black. She is like a highborn cat. She ignore people and when my brother want to brush her fur or check her theeth she become angry and wanted to bite him. I love her but used to I just laugh at her.
I always watched her when my brother posted her pictures or we had video calls , but when my sister and I went to his house we understood that the cat is so much more lovly than we expected. she is just a like a member of family. Despite of our imagination she is kind.
She is really a miserable cat , she is so dependent to people . and she has arthritis. Her previous owner was an old woman. She really had a tough life. She afraid of every loud sound.when we were there every morning she woke up and came next to my sister's bed trying wake her up to feed her. My brother didn't let us to gave her much food because she is fat.
I was really embarressed when she came next to me and stared above into my eyes and saied meow, it meant : "feed me" and I didn't allowed to feed her.
Her name is Babe. I love her so much. we have been about one month in my brother's house and when we wanted to leave, she sat on our suitcases .It seemed she knew that we wanted to leave . It was so sad I really cried the night before leaving her, And the day I want to leave I didn't go to see her I knew I couldn't stop crying if I saw her. because I knew it might never happen to see her again.

Hello QTN03

1. For most of these, 'the' isn't needed, but it's difficult to say more because I would recommend rephrasing part of this sentence. I understand it, but something like 'The social environment, education and health care are all terrible ...' would sound more natural. 'are' is correct since it was a list of several different things.

2. Yes, you are right -- the correct form is 'I like dogs much more than cats'. It sounds a little more natural to me to say 'like much more' than 'love much more' here, because 'love' sounds like a stronger form of 'like' in this context. In other words, you can like dogs, but if you really like dogs, you could say 'I love dogs'. Here it sounds as if you love dogs and tolerate cats (though I could have misunderstood).

3. 'where humanity and the law are respected' is correct.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi!
I am learning German now and dream to move to Berlin, fantastic city of art and great opportunities.
As for cats, they are amazing, and every cat is so unique. Too bad, dog people spread that lie about cats.
I prefer cats of course, a cat chooses a person not for food. Like if i come to a place with a dog and give the dog a treat, it is all done. I don't want a relationship that can be bought by food :) Cats are very complicated creatures. Cats also don't like noisy screaming people which is so typical of dog people. So, why would they expect cats to open to them? :D