The study tested twenty housecats in their own homes, waiting until the owner was out of sight and then playing them recordings of three strangers calling their names, followed by their owner, followed by another stranger. The researchers then analysed the cats’ responses to each call by measuring a number of factors including ear, tail and head movement, vocalization, eye dilation and finally whether or not the cats moved towards the voice. When hearing their names being called the cats generally moved their heads and ears about to locate where the sound was coming from. Although they showed a greater response to their owner’s voice than to strangers’, they declined to move when called by any of the people.
“These results indicate that cats do not actively respond with communicative behaviour to owners who are calling them from out of sight, even though they can distinguish their owners’ voices,” wrote the researcher. “This cat–owner relationship is in contrast to that with dogs. Historically speaking, cats, unlike dogs, have not been domesticated to obey humans’ orders. Rather, they seem to take the initiative in human–cat interaction.” This is in contrast to the history of dogs and humans, where the former has been bred over thousands of years to respond to commands. Cats, it seems, never needed to learn.
However, it's unlikely that this will dismay cat owners (or indeed, be of any surprise) and the paper notes that although “dogs are perceived by their owners as being more affectionate than cats, dog owners and cat owners do not differ significantly in their reported attachment level to their pets”.
(27.11.2013 The Independent)
Question 1: [2 POINTS] Indicate whether the following statements are true or false and write down which part of the text justifies your answer.
a) Cats probably do not have the ability to recognise different people’s voices.
b) Four different people called the cats’ names out.
c) Some cats moved towards their owner’s voice when they called them.
d) Dogs have been trained and taught how to listen to their owners throughout history.
Question 2: [2 POINTS] Answer the following questions in your own words according to the text.
a) How was the experiment mentioned in the article carried out?
- – Researchers tested 20 housecats.
- – They played the cats five voices calling them, including their owner.
- – They measured their movements in reaction to what they hear.
- – They check to see if they moved towards the voice.
b) According to the text what are the differences and similarities between the relationship between a cat and its owner and that of a dog and its owner?
- – Dogs have been trained to obey.
- – Cats take the initiative, they do not obey orders.
- – Dogs are perceived to be more affectionate.
- – Owners of both cats and dogs love their pets very much.
Question 3: [1,5 POINTS] Find words or phrases in the text that correspond to the words and definitions given.
- a) decide (paragraph 1) choose
- b) answers (paragraph 2) responses
- c) orders (paragraph 3) commands
- d) improbable (paragraph 4) unlikely
- e) loving (paragraph 4) affectionate
Question 4: [1,5 POINTS] Complete the following sentences without changing the meaning.
- a) Farmers were making excellent wine in Potes 200 years ago.
- Excellent wine was being made in Potes 200 years ago.
- b) I fell asleep because the meeting was so boring.
- If the meeting hadn’t been so boring, I wouldn’t have fallen asleep.
- c) “Don´t go to that part of town alone!” he warned me.
- He warned me not to go to that part of town alone.
WRITINGQuestion 5: [3 POINTS] Write a short essay (about 120-150 words) on the following topic:
– What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a pet?