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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Learn English Vocabulary: CATS! ? ?

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Hi, everyone. Welcome to my cat lesson. I really love cats, so I'm excited to do this

for you today. I'm going to read you a cat poem, I'm going to talk about cat personalities,

and I'm going to tell you some stories about my old cat I used to have. Unfortunately,

he's dead now, but his name is Mr.... is/was Mr Milo. So, I'll let you know something about

Mr Milo as we do the lesson.

Let's begin with a poem. This poem is about cat behavior and also about how a cat changes

as it gets older. I'll read it to you now.

Listen, kitten, Get this clear,

This is my chair. I sit here.

Okay, kitty We can share;

When I'm not home, It's your chair.

Listen cat How about

If I use it When you're out?

So, what happens in this poem is that as the cat gets older, the cat's behavior changes.

At first, it's a lovely, sweet kitten, and the cat's owner is in charge. The cat's owner

is still the boss, and the cat's owner can say: "This is my chair", when the cat is a

kitten; when it's still a baby.

Then, later, the power has changed between the cat's owner and the cat. Now, they share

the chair; they sit together. The owner sits with the cat, and when the owner goes out,

then the cat can sit in the chair by itself. This is when the cat has become a kitty.

And then, later, when the cat has become an adult, the power has completely changed and

now the cat's owner can't sit in his own chair; he has to ask his cat: "Is it okay if I sit

in that chair that you like so much?" when the cat has grown up.

So, I really liked that poem about cats, because I think that's one of the main things about

their personalities. Unlike a dog that respects you as its master and will always look up

to you, that's not guaranteed with a cat. And many cats, as they get older, become very

powerful and more powerful even than their owners.

So let's look at some cat words now. We've got: "pussy" or "pussycat". The word "pussy"

can be a rude word. If we want to say... We can still use it when we're talking about

cats, but we have to say it in a sweet way: "pussy". And we can say: "Here, pussy, pussy,

pussy" to a cat. It does sound a little bit funny, but you could still say it as kind

of a joke or to be sweet.

Another cat word is "moggy". A moggy is a cat that... It's not a fancy cat, it's maybe

not a very attractive cat; it's a mix of all the different street cats around, and not

a beautiful champion cat, but one that you can still love very much.

Next we have a "tom" or a "tomcat". This is a male cat. And we have also "pedigree cat".

"Pedigree" is a cat that has been bred to look a certain way; to look beautiful.

My cat, Mr Milo, was a pedigree cat. He was a Persian cat. He was very, very beautiful,

but he wasn't very intelligent as a cat. And perhaps it's true that maybe moggies are more

intelligent than... at least more intelligent than Persian cats because they haven't been

so inbred to look beautiful.

Okay, now let's look at cat behavior. What does a cat do in its general, daily life?

First of all, a cat loves to nap. You will often find a cat napping. For example, the

cat may nap on a chair, it may nap on your bed. Cats might also do some hunting during

the day. So, watch out if there's any wild birds in your garden, or any mice that might

be in your garden or in your house because your cat will try to hunt that. Mr Milo was

not very good at hunting. No, no, no. It was quite funny. He lived for 17 years, he never

caught a bird. He only managed to catch a mouse that was already dying, so it couldn't

really... It couldn't really run fast. And Mr Milo was so proud that he... He put his

paw on this already half-dead mouse, but that... Mr Milo wasn't... He wasn't much of an aggressive

cat. He was just, you know, he was good at looking beautiful, and that was all he did


Cats also like to groom. "Grooming" is when they lick their... Lick their fur to stay

clean. Cats also like to purr. [Purrs] That's how Mr Milo would purr. It was often quite

annoying, because he always wanted to do it right there next to your neck, so you would

get the feeling of the claws coming out, and also wet-cat breath on your neck and in your

ear. [Purrs] And you would try to push him away, but he always came back to do more.

So, it was... It was nice but also annoying about him.

Cats meow. Mr Milo would meow something like this: "[Meows]". He was a whiner. He didn't...

He didn't meow very loud, but he wouldn't stop meowing if he wanted food; you'd have

to give it to him.

Next we've got "scratching". I already mentioned when Mr Milo purred, he would scratch you

on your neck. But cats also scratch on their scratching posts or on furniture. They have

to do that to keep their claws short.

Cats will also swish their tails. I'm not sure what that means. I think they can swish

their tails in different moods. In some cats, sometimes I think it means they're a bit angry

if they swish their tail, and it could also mean that they want to hunt something. Let

me know in the comments if you know why a cat swishes its tail.

Next, let's look at cat adjectives. How can we describe the personality of cats in general?

First, we've got "independent". Cats are different to dogs, of course, because they go outside

on their own. They go and have adventures outside. Some cats go out for a long time,

some cats go very far, they like to travel, and they're independent because they don't

go out in a group with other cats. If you ever see dogs or street dogs, they are happy

to be in a pack together and they like to... Not all the time, but they often like to walk

the streets together with other dogs; whereas cats, they'll generally walk around alone,

although they might like to nap or sit near other cats sometimes. But I don't think they

plan it, like they're all going to go out together at the same time.

Next, cats are intelligent. People argue about this one because they say dogs are intelligent

because you can teach them tricks, you can teach them to give you their paw and you can

teach them to bark, so people say cats aren't intelligent like dogs because they don't do

tricks. But the thing is: Cats wouldn't be interested in doing tricks for you. They...

They don't want to be controlled by you in that way, I suppose. So, I think cats are

intelligent, but in the way that it's how they look at you sometimes. They look at you

like they understand your deep psychology or your flaws, so they have a certain kind

of intelligence that's different to dogs. Maybe dogs can do stuff if you teach them,

but cats already know stuff.

Now, also, cats are mysterious. If you think about it, when cats go outside, you don't

always know where they go. Now, Mr Milo, when he was about two years old, one day he just

left and he didn't come back. He went travelling. And we put up some posters around the local

area to try to get Mr Milo back, obviously, because he's our cat and we loved him very,

very much, so we wanted to get him back.

And it was actually a few weeks later, but somebody called... Called up and said: "I

think that I've spotted your cat, and your cat's in my neighbour's garden." And this

woman... The neighbour was a mad cat lady, and she would attract all the cats in the

neighbourhood to her garden. And then the cats would choose to go and live at her house

instead. So, Mr Milo left us to go to the mad cat lady.

We went to the house to get Mr Milo back, and although he looked the same-he had the

long fur, same eye colour-when we got him back it was like his whole personality had

changed in the time that he was living in this other house. And it... It took a few

weeks for him to get back to the old Mr Milo. But that's an example of how mysterious they

can be. You know, we will never know if he wanted to leave us, or he just walked too

far and got lost. He'll keep it a secret forever, and I think many cats do that. They don't

want you to know everything about them.

Cats are also curious. We have a phrase: "Curiosity killed the cat." I had another cat when I

was younger, but unfortunately, that cat died when it was very young; less than a year old.

And curiosity literally killed that cat. That cat was eating a stick. I don't know why it

decided to eat a stick. It must have thought: "What's this? I want to put it in my mouth",

and then it choked on the... On the stick. It was very sad because nobody found it when

it was struggling. But if... If the cat wasn't so curious and interested to find out things-"Oh,

what's this stick?"-maybe he would have lived for much longer.

Next, cats are choosy. "Choosy" means they... If there's something... Choosy in the sense

that you like this, but you don't like that. There's some people you like, some people

you don't like, and cats are very much like that. If a cat... If you think... If you try

to call a cat, often it doesn't come to you, and cats will avoid some people that come

to your house; but other people they'll really like, and they'll come up and want to jump

on their lap. So, in that sense... In that sense, a cat is choosy.

Next, cats are playful. Mr Milo wasn't really that playful. If... The most excited he would

get is to maybe do this a few times; but some cats like to jump, play with string, go crazy,

roll on the floor, and they do exciting things when they're kittens. Cats are also affectionate.

Some cats; some cats are not. They like to sit in your lap, they like to purr for you,

they like to come and walk by your legs. So, in that way, they're affectionate.

Cats are disloyal. I'm not sure if they are disloyal because I don't think they are doing

it on purpose to leave you. For example, when Mr Milo went away and left us, maybe he was

just having an adventure. It wasn't because he said: "I don't like this food that you're

giving me anymore. I'm going away to the mad cat lady."

And if we think about dogs, here, it can help us understand because a dog, if... Some people,

unfortunately, beat their dogs or hit them and they shout at them really badly, but the

dog will always come and be friends again with its master. You can treat a dog very

badly, and they will always come back and love you; whereas cats, they will make a decision

about where they live - if it's good for them, they will say; but if it's not good for them,

they might leave and they'll go to somebody else who feeds it or somebody else who takes

it in the house. So, in that... In that way, they are disloyal because they won't stay

forever, if you treat them badly.

But I think "disloyal" is a strong... Is a too strong word. It makes it seem like the

cat is just waiting to leave you at any time, and I don't think that's quite true about

it. They just... They're able to move on; whereas, for dogs, it's harder for them to

do that. If you think about cats, if somebody dies or they can't keep their cat anymore

because they're moving house or moving to a different country, the cat can go to another

house and adapt very, very quickly. Dogs can do that, but it takes them longer to be comfortable

in a new home.

Next, we have "lazy". What do you think? Do you think cats are lazy? Obviously they sleep

a lot, and I suppose they're not very busy; they don't have a lot to do. So, unless they

do lots of hunting, it can seem like cats are lazy. And on those days where you feel

a little bit tired and you go and have a sleep, usually in the afternoon, that's when we take

a cat nap. When we feel lazy like the cat, we go and have a cat nap.

And the last adjective to describe a cat is "timid". "Timid" means the opposite of brave.

When you're timid, if you hear a noise, a bang - you run away. Some cats are very timid;

some cats, if they meet a new person, they'll stay on the other side of the room or they'll

always run away from them. Mr Milo wasn't very timid; he was just more calm. He was

a calm kind of cat. I think he was maybe not that intelligent, that he wasn't scared by

so many things because he didn't understand what they were.

So, there we are. Thank you for watching my cat lesson. I have a quiz for you to do now

on everything we've learned today. Thank you for watching.

Meow. I forgot something - a story I wanted to tell... I forgot a story that I wanted

to tell you. Mr Milo, I loved him so much, he was my cat. When I got that cat, I was

11 years old, and in my family nobody had had a cat before, so we didn't... All right,

it's not the hardest thing in the world to take care of a cat, but we didn't really know.

And my Mom, she bought me a book about caring for your Persian cat. And Persian cats, they

have long hair. Don't know where she got this book from, but it said that to take good care

of your Persian cat, you have to give it a bath one time a week.

And because I loved him so much, that's what I decided needed to happen to Mr Milo every

week. Now, this might explain why he wasn't a very intelligent cat; it may have been some

kind of trauma that I was responsible for. So, what would happen: Mr Milo's bath time,

he would get in the water and he would go... He would reduce size and become this skinny,

little bone; all his fluff is gone, and he's, like, shaking in the bath like that. Tries

to jump out, every time he tries to jump out - nope. And I'm 11 or... 11 or just 12. And

I love him so much, he must have this bath and have shampoo and everything, but it doesn't

end there.

The next step is then to go onto my window ceil in my bedroom and be blow-dried with

a hairdryer really loud and very, very close to his skin, potentially burning him. Okay,

I know this was wrong now, but when I was 11 I thought that was love for my cat. So,

he would be on the window sill, and he would try to run to one side so he could jump off,

and the hairdryer would follow him, so then he would try to run to the other side to jump

off, and I'd follow him with a hairdryer. And so this would happen every single week

until somebody told me: "You're not supposed to do that to cats. I don't think he likes

it", and then I stopped torturing him and making him look beautiful. So, there's my

story. Thanks for watching.

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