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“Pet Ownership”



Pre-Listening Question

What are the advantages and disadvantages of having cats as pets?

Vocabulary and Expressions

Here are some words and expressions that appear in the video:

cuddle (verb): hold close as a way of showing affection
– I cuddled the new puppy because it was afraid of the wind outside.

foresee (verb): know about something before it happens
– We didn’t foresee the amount of time and money it would take to care for our dog.

monitor (verb): watch a situation carefully
– We had to monitor our dog carefully because he had lost his appetite.

wrestle with something (verb): try to solve a difficult issue
– How long did you have to wrestle with the cat’s medical issues before you figured out the problem?

snuggle (up/with) (verb): move close for warmth and affection
– The young boy snuggled up to his mother as he fell asleep.

Listening Comprehension Questions

Now, watch the interview and answer the comprehension questions. You can also turn on the automatically-generated captions for the video once you start it.


Randall: I think one of the most important things in our lives, Emily, is having connection, connection with friends and neighbors and family. But I also think that having pets can be a real advantage to your life. But there also can be some cons you could say as well, what would you think of are some of the advantages and disadvantages of having pets? I’m not speaking about a monkey or a giant lizard. People do have those, I guess.

Emily: Um, I will speak from my experience of having your typical dogs and cats.

Randall: Okay.

Emily: I currently have cats and one of the best benefits is the emotional comfort they give me. I really like to cuddle with them while I am, you know, sleeping or watching a movie. And it’s nice because when I’m taking a nap, all of my cats will pile on top of me, which I really enjoy. One of the big cons of having a pet is medical issues. Two of my cats have some really complicated medical issues that I did not foresee, and that is very expensive and it requires constant monitoring.

Randall: And I think there can be, uh, at times people who are not only wrestling with those issues, but maybe discover that they have an allergy to their own pet, that that could happen, right?

Emily: Yeah, I actually have an allergy to my cats. It doesn’t stop me from snuggling them, though.

Randall: Well, thank you for sharing great ideas on having pets.

Conversation Questions


  1. What are some advantages of having pets, according to Emily?
  2. What is one significant drawback of having pets mentioned by Emily?
  3. How does Emily describe the emotional comfort she derives from her cats?


  1. Can you think of any strategies or precautions pet owners can take to manage the financial burden of unexpected medical issues in their pets?
  2. Discuss the ethical responsibilities of owning a pet, considering both the joys and challenges associated with pet ownership.

Related Language Activities on Randall’s Web Site

The following activities deal with related topics to give you additional language practice.

Try More Free Listening at