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  • - Hello, this Jack from tofluency.com.

  • And this is a conversational lesson about pets and animals.

  • And today we have our favorite guest,

  • - Kate.

  • - Kate, who is going to bring some American flair

  • to this conversation.

  • And, yeah, we're just gonna have

  • a conversation about pets.

  • We're gonna talk about pets that we've had,

  • common command for dogs.

  • We're gonna talk about going to the zoo,

  • extinct animals.

  • We'll think about talking about strange animals

  • we've eaten before, but we might not go there.

  • We'll see where this conversation goes,

  • and stay to the end because we'll have a question for you.

  • Kate's question.

  • Okay. And,

  • and just one last thing,

  • we're going to have this natural conversation,

  • but I'll leave some of the key phrases in the description,

  • and also turn on subtitles.

  • If you want to follow along with the conversation.

  • Let's just start with, pets that we had growing up.

  • We'll keep this segment a little bit short.

  • We won't go into too much depth,

  • but what animals, what pets did you have growing up

  • in Connecticut, United States of America?

  • - I had,

  • dogs.

  • - Uh huh. - So when I was born,

  • my parents had a golden retriever.

  • And then when I was a little bit older, we had a poodle,

  • We had a cat who was a rescue cat,

  • and she stayed a little bit feral,

  • a little bit wild,

  • - Hmm. Spider.

  • - Spider. Her name was Spider,

  • because she had a habit of eating spiders.

  • - I didn't know That's why you called her Spider.

  • - Yeah, we didn't.

  • She had that reputation in the animal shelter.

  • And so that became her name.

  • And I also had,

  • parakeets,

  • and betta fish,

  • and horses.

  • - (laughs) and horses.

  • - and horses.

  • - Yeah.

  • - I was very lucky.

  • - Yeah.

  • - So, a lot of, a lot of,

  • kids want a pony,

  • but I,

  • I had a pony,

  • in my backyard.

  • - Yeah, we, so we never had dogs,

  • but we, I always wanted a dog as a kid,

  • but my parents were more interested in cats.

  • So we had a cat which died when I was around four.

  • So my parents had that before I was born.

  • And then we had two cats called Tiger and Pepper.

  • We had a bunny called Fluffy,

  • and Flooffy.

  • - Flooffy. (Jack laughs)

  • and then, I think that's it, really, growing up.

  • I don't think we had any other pets, growing up,

  • but and, let's just talk about the horse briefly,

  • because that's,

  • I imagine people are interested in that.

  • 'Cause not a lot of people have a horse.

  • Was it a lot of work involved,

  • - Yes. - with the horse?

  • - Yes.

  • So I did all of, when the horse came to live at our house,

  • I did all of the work for the horse and when it was boarded,

  • other places, I would also go and help out.

  • So that was hauling water,

  • making sure that there were hay bales,

  • which are big,

  • rectangles of hay, up in the loft.

  • And you know, and every morning you have to do barn chores.

  • So I would put on my boots and go out to the barn

  • and just muck out, (laughs)

  • every day.

  • - Muck out - Uh-huh.

  • - It's a phrasal verb.

  • - Is is a phrasal verb, and it's one

  • that you might not have heard before.

  • - No.

  • - No, so, - I can understand it

  • from the context, probably that it means let's clean,

  • - Yep. - clean it out.

  • - Uh-huh. - 'Cause horses,

  • create a lot of waste.

  • - They do.

  • - Right.

  • - So,

  • - And combing, brushing the horse.

  • - Uh-huh. A little grooming,

  • - Grooming, grooming.

  • - So usually I wouldn't groom,

  • my horse unless I was planning to ride.

  • But well, before I rode,

  • I had different brushes,

  • and a special tool

  • called a hoof pick to scoop out the dirt.

  • - Hoof pick.

  • - A hoof pick.

  • - H-O-O-F.

  • - Yeah, 'cause horses have hooves,

  • and then sometimes they get dirt

  • caked in their feet and you have to scoop it out.

  • - Wow. So a lot of upkeep.

  • - A lot of upkeep. Uh-huh.

  • - And yeah, I think that's a good thing to talk about,

  • Which pets need the most amount of maintenance,

  • the fish, least amount.

  • - Least amount.

  • - Cats next.

  • - Yes.

  • - Dogs.

  • - Uh-huh. - Then the horse.

  • - Yes.

  • - Yeah.

  • - I would almost say, that,

  • a cat might even be easier than a fish, in some senses,

  • - Hmm.

  • because you can go away

  • for a few days and leave food for a cat,

  • and a fish, you have to feed them every day.

  • - Oh, yeah.

  • - Uh-huh.

  • - I wonder if they have like, automatic

  • fish food dispensers now.

  • - You would think so.

  • - If not, that's an idea, for somebody to introduce.

  • And, so yeah, pets that need the most attention.

  • I think a horse is up there. Right?

  • - Yes.

  • - Which means a horse has a great contender for a pet

  • that needs the most kind of maintenance and attention.

  • What other pets need attention more than a horse?

  • Can you think of anything?

  • I mean some, you probably need to pay attention to,

  • a little bit more. - Uh huh.

  • For example, we're going to talk about some exotic pets

  • that people have.

  • Which might be venomous spiders,

  • snakes.

  • - Okay.

  • - Like what's happened in Florida, with some snakes.

  • - Oh, this is a story that you clearly know more about.

  • I haven't been following it.

  • - So people had, boa constrictor pets,

  • - Uh huh.

  • and they got released into the wild.

  • - Oh no.

  • - And they're massive.

  • I think they're from,

  • somewhere in Asia,

  • I can't remember which country they're really prevalent in,

  • but people kept them in as pets in Florida,

  • they got too big,

  • And just oh, go to the wild and have taken over,

  • - Oh no. - The Everglades.

  • - Is that dangerous to humans?

  • - Not necessarily,

  • but to other animals that are more native to Florida,

  • they can take over territories, et cetera.

  • - So they're invasive species.

  • - Invasive, yes.

  • Yeah. And that just reminds me,

  • I think there's a stat that I think is really cool,

  • or maybe not cool, but interesting.

  • That the country with the most amount

  • of tigers in the world is the US.

  • - Wow.

  • - Think of Tiger King.

  • - Yeah.

  • - And people keep them as pets in certain states.

  • So, there there's a map I saw as well of where it's legal

  • or illegal to keep a kangaroo as a pet,

  • because in the US things are really,

  • a lot of laws are created state by state.

  • So in some states you can keep exotic animals, like tigers.

  • So people have tigers as pets.

  • And there are instances like in Knoxville,

  • where our friends live, where that tiger got loose.

  • Do you remember that story?

  • - I do.

  • - And someone created a fake Twitter account,

  • talking about, "I am the Knoxville tiger."

  • (Kate laughs)

  • Just like, someone, the authorities said,

  • we're leaving out chicken traps and stuff like that.

  • And the tiger would respond saying

  • like, "You can't fool me with that."

  • (Both laugh)

  • But it ended up, I think, being a false alarm.

  • - Oh, okay.

  • - 'Cause our friend who's a vet was part

  • of that mission to try and find it.

  • - Uh-huh. - He was in the helicopter

  • looking for the tiger

  • and going off leads.

  • - Uh huh.

  • - But this is real, like these pets

  • can escape.

  • - Uh huh.

  • - The thing with tigers,

  • it doesn't seem like if they escape,

  • they will breed and create more baby tigers.

  • But the boa constrictors seem to do that in Florida.

  • - I guess, unless you have a significant number

  • of tigers escape at the same time,

  • - Uh huh. - which is, unlikely.

  • - Yeah.

  • - Yeah.

  • - What was an animal like that,

  • that you would consider having as a pet.

  • If you had to have,

  • maybe like a,

  • tarantula, or,

  • - I was going to say, I'll take a koala. (laughs)

  • - Koala.

  • - You're talking about kangaroos,

  • That would be an exotic pet.

  • - Yeah.

  • Everyone loves a koala.

  • - Yes.

  • - They seem to be very chilled out, relaxed.

  • - Yes,

  • - There was some type of,

  • video where people at the zoo tricked

  • a British reporter about the dangers of koalas

  • and made up, like a massive armor suit.

  • - Oh no. - Do you remember that?

  • - No.

  • - And they just tricked her about like,

  • how dangerous they are,

  • and she put on this massive suit, just like, tricked her,

  • so she's reporting for news channel,

  • for the UK wearing this,

  • - Oh, no.

  • - That's a good prank. - Yeah.

  • - I'll leave a link to that in the description.

  • - So, was the tiger escape also a prank?

  • - No, I think it was like someone saw,

  • it might have been a coyote, or something like that.

  • I can't remember what it was. - Coyote, tiger. (laughs)

  • - Well,

  • I will tell a story,

  • - Okay. - When we got,

  • our first dog together, Lyle.

  • He was very small for a dog and he was a puppy as well,

  • - Yeah. - so he was tiny.

  • And we, I was with him for a few days,

  • and I hadn't really seen a cat in that time,

  • and we went out, do you remember?

  • - I do. - And I said,

  • "What is that down there?"

  • It's huge and it's feline.

  • And I was thinking, it was either like a