Cats never fail to fascinate human beings. They can be friendly and affectionate towards humans, but they lead mysterious lives of their own as well. They never become submissive like dogs and horses. As a result, humans have learned to respect feline independence. Most cats remain suspicious of humans all their lives. One of the things that fascinates us most about cats is the popular belief that they have nine lives. Apparently, there is a good deal of truth in this idea. A cat's ability to survive falls is based on fact. Recently the New York Animal Medical Center made a study of 132 cats over a period of five months. All these cats had one experience in common: they had fallen off high buildings, yet only eight of them died from shock or injuries. Of course, New York is the ideal place for such an interesting study, because there is no shortage of tall buildings. There are plenty of high-rise windowsills to fall from! One cat, Sabrina, fell 32 storeys, yet only suffered from a broken tooth. 'Cats behave like well-trained paratroopers.' a doctor said. It seems that the further cats fall, the less they are likely to injure themselves. In a long drop, they reach speeds of 60 miles an hour and more. At high speeds, falling cats have time to relax. They stretch out their legs like flying squirrels. This increases their air-resistance and reduces the shock of impact when they hit the ground. New words and expressions 生词和短语 fascinate v. 迷住,吸引住 affectionate adj. 充满深情,柔情的 mysterious adj. 神秘的,难以理解的 submissive adj. 服从的,顺从的 feline adj. 猫的 independence n. 独立,独立性 high-rise adj. 高层的 windowsill n. 窗槛
paratrooper n. 伞兵 squirrel n. 松鼠 air-resistance n. 空气阻力 impact n. 冲击力 参考译文 猫总能引起人们的极大兴趣。它们可以对人友好,充满柔情。但是,它们又有自己神秘 的生活方式。它们从不像狗和马一样变得那么顺从。结果是人们已经学会尊重猫的独立性。 在它们的一生中, 大多数猫都对人存有戒心。 最使我们感兴趣的一件事情就是一种通俗的信 念??猫有九条命。显然,这种说法里面包含着许多真实性。猫在跌落时能够大难不死是有 事实作为依据的。 最近,纽约动物医疗中心对 132 只猫进行了为期 5 个月的综合研究。所有这些猫有一 个共同的经历:它们都曾从高层建筑上摔下来过,但只有其中的 8 只猫死于震荡或跌伤。 当然,纽约是进行这种有趣的试验的一个理想的地方,因为那里根本不缺乏高楼大厦,有的 是高层的窗槛从上往下坠落。有一只叫萨伯瑞的猫从 32 层楼上掉下来,但只摔断一颗牙。 “猫就像训练有素的跳伞队员,” 一位医生说。看起来,猫跌落的距离越长,它们就越不会 伤害自己。在一个长长的跌落过程中,它们可以达到每小时 60 里甚至更快的速度。在高速 下落中,猫有时间放松自己。它们伸展四肢,就像飞行中的松鼠一样。这样就加大了空气阻 力,并减少了它们着地时冲击力带来的震动。
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