From VOA Learning English, welcome to As It Is.
Black and White Cat - This kitty is approaching a new friend, a traveler with camera. Her tail is in the process of going vertical, a sign she wants to make friends.xBlack and White Cat - This kitty is approaching a new friend, a traveler with camera. Her tail is in the process of going vertical, a sign she wants to make friends.
[Tom Jones: "What's New Pussycat?"]
Hi again! I’m Kelly Jean Kelly.
And I’m Steve Ember
[William Warfield: "I Bought Me a Cat" from Aaron Copland's "Old American Songs"]
KELLY: Today we are answering a listener’s question about cats. Tuan Nuoc sent us an e-mail from Vietnam to say, “I love my cat so much. He has lived with me for 17 years. But now my cat looks very old and weak. He can’t catch mice. How long does a cat live?”
今天我们回答一位听众提出的关于猫的问题。Tuan Nuoc 在越南向我们发送邮件说，“我非常喜欢我家的猫。它和我一起生活了 17 年。但现在我的猫看起来年迈虚弱，抓不到老鼠了。一只猫能活多久？”
To answer the question, we spoke to Elizabeth Colleran. She is a veterinarian -- a doctor who treats animals. She owns two veterinary clinics on the west coast of the United States. Her clinics specialize in cats.
为了回答这个问题，我们采访了 Elizabeth Colleran。她是一位兽医——专门治疗动物的医生。她在美国西海岸有两家兽医诊所。她的诊所主治猫。
Dr. Colleran says she once thought 17 was very old for a cat.
Colleran 医生说，她以前觉得 17 岁对于猫来说都太老了。
“That’s really changing. With really good nutrition, good health care, and a safe environment, I have a lot of patients now that are in their 20s.”
“这的确正在改变。有了好的营养、好的医护、安全的环境，我的很多‘病人’现在都活到了 20 多岁。”
In comparison, she says, cats in the wild live only about seven years.
她说，相比之下，野猫仅能存活 7 年左右。
[Henry Mancini: "Something for Cat" from "Breakfast at Tiffany's"]
STEVE: On the subject of cats, two American newspapers recently described new research about the world’s most popular pet. That is correct — more people have pet cats than pet dogs.
John Bradshaw directs the Anthrozoology Institute at the University of Bristol in Britain. He has studied cats for more than 30 years.
John Bradshaw 是英国布里斯托大学动物关系学研究所的主任。他研究猫有 30 多年了。
Mr. Bradshaw wrote in the Washington Postthat the animals often communicate with their tails. When a cat wants to show it is feeling friendly, it lifts its tail straight up. Other cats recognize the straight-up tail symbol and often respond in a friendly way.
Elizabeth Colleran says pet owners can learn to recognize tail movements and other signs that a cat is really happy to see you.
Elizabeth Colleran 说，养宠物的人可以学着识别尾巴的动作，以及一只猫在乐意见到你时所表现出的其他迹象。
“He would approach me with his tail up, and maybe a little bend at the end, and he’d have a really bright expression on his face. His fur would be nice and shiny and down, and he’d walk up to me and rub against my calves.”
If your cat does not feel like seeing you, she says, he will just walk away.
["The Rum Tum Tugger" from the musical "Cats"]
KELLY: Purring is another way cats communicate. John Bradshaw says most cat owners think their cat’s purr means he or she is happy. Often that is true. But, he says, cats may also purr when they are hungry, worried, or even angry.
喵呜声是猫的另一种交流方式。John Bradshaw 说，很多养猫人认为猫叫意味着它很开心。通常是这样的。但他指出，猫在饥饿、害怕或甚至发怒的时候也会发出喵呜声。
He says a purring cat is asking the observer to sit quietly with him. The purr makes the cat feel better. And, Dr. Colleran adds, it may also make the person feel better.
“If you have a cat purring in your lap, your heart rate and blood pressure will be lower.”
STEVE: Some researchers in Austria also recently examined what makes cats stressed. In other words, what makes cats anxious or nervous.
The researchers work at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna. They studied 120 cats that lived in 60 houses. Some cats were the only cat in the house. Others shared the house with one, two, or three other cats.
这些研究人员来自维也纳兽医大学。他们研究了生活在 60 个房屋的 120 只猫。一些猫是单独呆在屋里的，其它则与一只、两只或者三只猫同住。
The researchers wanted to know whether cats felt more stressed when they lived alone or as part of a group. The scientists did not find the exact answer they were seeking. The number of cats in the house did not seem to make much difference to a cat’s stress level.
However, the scientists found that other things did influence stress levels. Cats could show stress if they were not at ease with human beings, did not have enough space, or did not have enough food.
In addition, the researchers found that most cats liked being touched, or stroked, by humans. A few did not. As Elizabeth Colleran suggested, those cats probably just walked away from people who reached out to touch them.
另外，研究人员还发现大多数猫喜欢被人触摸或轻抚。仅有几只不是这样。根据 Elizabeth Colleran 所提出的，这些猫可能会远离伸手触摸它的人。
Thirteen of the cats did not like being stroked, but they let people touch them anyway. The researchers found that these cats showed more evidence of stress than the others.
有 13 只猫不喜欢被轻抚，但是它们多少还是会让人碰的。研究人员发现这些猫会比其它猫表现出更多压力。
["The Rum Tum Tugger" from the musical "Cats"]
KELLY: Dr. Colleran says that humans can do a lot to make sure their cats have happy lives. Most house cats, she says, need places to hide and places where they feel safe to eat and drink. In other words, they need some privacy. But she notes that they also need to play.
"They are hunters. And we need to be able to provide them a way in which they can act out those natural behaviors.”
["Cat, You Better Come Home"]
For some cats, playing includes going outside. Dr. Colleran says some cat owners have created a special place near the house where the cat is safe. That place might have walls around it, or even be connected to the house. She calls such places “catios.” The word is a mix between “cat” and “patio.”
["Cat, You Better Come Home" Garrison Keillor]
STEVE: Sometimes, a cat will get sick. Dr. Colleran says it can be hard for humans to realize when their cat is not well. She suggests looking for any changes in how your cat is acting. For instance, you might find your cat in a room he has never been in before. Or, he may sleep in a new place, or start to eat less. He may even start to smell strange, or make unusual sounds.
Dr. Colleran says take your sick cat to the veterinarian, even if the experience is unpleasant for both of you. She says you can make the visit easier if the cat is not frightened. Let your cat ride in the car -- sometimes just for fun, she says. And let him play or sleep in the cat carrier at home. That way, the cat will be more relaxed when you take him to the veterinarian.
And that’s As It Is. I’m Kelly Jean Kelly.
And I’mSteve Ember.
By the way, you can also learn cat expressions on our website. Look for “Don’t Take a Cat Nap!” on Words and Their Stories. You just might find that program to be “the cat’s pajamas!”
As It Is is a production of VOA Learning English.
We had purring assistance today from Mewer the Wonder Cat. Say good bye, Mewer.
[MEWER speaks and purrs.]