Cats Island of Japan – level 3

06-03-2015 15:00

More than 120 cats are living and running wild over a tiny Japanese island giving it the nickname “Cats Island.” Tourists from around the country have been flocking to Aoshima even though there are no shops or any hotels.

There are only ferries twice a day which link Aoshima to the rest of Japan, but that hasn’t deterred cat lovers.

The cats were originally brought over to the island to deal with mice plaguing fishing boats, but they’ve since multiplied, as there are no natural predators.

In its heyday, nearly 900 people lived on the island, but over the last 70 years, the population has declined.

The cats are fed occasionally by tourists and some people who live on the island, but generally a lot of them have to look for their own food, eating crops at residents’ plants or anything edible left lying around.

In a bid to control the cat population, ten have been neutered so far. But humans are still a minority on the island, even with the tourists.

Difficult words: run wild (to not be tame and to be out of control), tiny (very small), flock (to come in large numbers), deter (to stop from doing something), plague (to be in large numbers and to cause trouble), heyday (a period of success and popularity), decline (to fall), edible (able to be eaten), in a bid (in an attempt or try), neuter (to castrate or remove the reproductive organs) minority (a small number).



If you read and listen to two articles every day, your reading and listening skills can improve fast. You can learn quickly and after some time you will not have to translate into your own language. You will simply understand. Why should you do this?

When you listen to people in your native language, you do not translate. You simply understand. The same has to be in English. When you learn English, you have to learn the whole sentences in context.

Students, who translate English texts, do exercises and do tests are very good at translating, doing exercises and doing tests, but they have problems with understanding English in real life. In real life, nobody waits for your translation. People usually use simple English when they speak but they use it fast. You have to understand with no translation to your native language. If you translate, you cannot be part of communication because you are thinking about the language too much. These words are maybe hard to read but they are true.

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