Domestic cats, especially young kittens, are known for their love of play. This behavior mimics hunting and is important in helping kittens learn to stalk, capture, and kill prey.[172] Cats also engage in play fighting, with each other and with humans. This behavior may be a way for cats to practice the skills needed for real combat, and might also reduce any fear they associate with launching attacks on other animals.[173]

After the overture, the cats gather on stage and describe the Jellicle tribe and its purpose ("Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats"). The cats (who break the fourth wall throughout the show) then notice that they are being watched by a human audience, and proceed to explain how the different cats of the tribe are named ("The Naming of Cats"). This is followed by a ballet solo performed by Victoria to signal the beginning of the Jellicle Ball ("The Invitation to the Jellicle Ball"). At this moment, Munkustrap, the show's main narrator, explains that tonight the Jellicle patriarch Old Deuteronomy will make an appearance and choose one of the cats to be reborn into a new life on the Heaviside Layer.

The musical has also been translated and staged nationally in Asia. From September 2008 to January 2009, a Korean-language production performed at the Charlotte Theatre in Seoul, with Shin Youngsook and Ock Joo-hyun alternating as Grizabella, Kim Jin-woo and Daesung alternating as Rum Tum Tugger, and Kim Bo-kyung as Rumpleteazer.[268] This production was revived and toured South Korea from 2011 to 2012, with Insooni and Park Hae-mi taking turns to portray Grizabella.[269] The first Mandarin-language production toured various cities in China in 2012.[270]


Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats is a collection of light poetry about cats that Eliot had originally written for his godchildren in the 1930s. Due to the rhythmic nature of Eliot's work, there had been previous attempts before Cats at setting his poems to music, though none of these attempts had been met with much critical or commercial success.[6] Musicologist John Snelson wrote of the poems:
"Growltiger's Last Stand" has been criticised as being racially offensive. The original lyrics, taken directly from the Eliot poem it is based on, included the ethnic slur "Chinks" and this was later replaced with the word "Siamese".[32] The number also originally involved the cast putting on "Asian accents" to portray the Siamese cats.[305] In the 1998 video version, the entire scene featuring Growltiger was cut.[387] By 2016, "Growltiger's Last Stand" had been removed completely from the US and UK productions of the show.[32]
There are also several powerhouses who worked behind the scenes of the film. Academy Award-winning director Tom Hopper directed and wrote the screenplay, which is of course based on the stage production — which, in turn, was based on poet T. S. Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats." Hopper also directed best-picture winner "The King's Speech" and the musical-turned-movie "Les Misérables."
The original Viennese cast included Ute Lemper who played Bombalurina, Steve Barton who played Munkustrap, and Robert Montano who played Pouncival.[112] Pia Douwes was also a member of the cast from 1987 to 1989, covering several different characters including Grizabella.[175] The Vienna production also performed limited runs at the Komische Oper Berlin in East Germany in 1987,[176] and at the Moscow Operetta Theatre in the Soviet Union in 1988.[177]
Influenced by the show's success in Vienna, a German production by Stella Entertainment premiered in April 1986 at the newly-renovated Operettenhaus in Hamburg.[173][179] It closed in January 2001 after 15 years, having played over 6,100 performances to 6.2 million audiences.[179][180] Cats was the first stage production in the country to be mounted without any public funding and was also the first to run for multiple years; its success established the medium as a profitable venture in Germany.[180] The musical was also a huge boost for tourism in Hamburg, particularly the subdivision of St. Pauli where it accounted for 30% of all tourists. The number of overnight visitors to the city increased by over one million per year within the first five years of the show's premiere.[179]
The earliest known indication for a tamed African wildcat was excavated close by a human grave in Shillourokambos, southern Cyprus, dating to about 9,200 to 9,500 years before present. As there is no evidence of native mammalian fauna on Cyprus, the inhabitants of this Neolithic village most likely brought the cat and other wild mammals to the island from the Middle Eastern mainland.[13] Scientists therefore assume that African wildcats were attracted to early human settlements in the Fertile Crescent by rodents, in particular the house mouse (Mus musculus), and were tamed by Neolithic farmers. This commensal relationship between early farmers and tamed cats lasted thousands of years. As agricultural practices spread, so did tame and domesticated cats.[14][6] Wildcats of Egypt contributed to the maternal gene pool of the domestic cat at a later time.[49] The earliest known evidence for the occurrence of the domestic cat in Greece dates to around 1200 BC. Greek, Phoenician, Carthaginian and Etruscan traders introduced domestic cats to southern Europe.[50] By the 5th century BC, it was a familiar animal around settlements in Magna Graecia and Etruria.[51] Domesticated cats were introduced to Corsica and Sardinia during the Roman Empire before the beginning of the 1st millennium.[52] The Egyptian domestic cat lineage is evidenced in a Baltic Sea port in northern Germany by the end of the Roman Empire in the 5th century.[49]
Serious damage is rare, as the fights are usually short in duration, with the loser running away with little more than a few scratches to the face and ears. However, fights for mating rights are typically more severe and injuries may include deep puncture wounds and lacerations. Normally, serious injuries from fighting are limited to infections of scratches and bites, though these can occasionally kill cats if untreated. In addition, bites are probably the main route of transmission of feline immunodeficiency virus.[153] Sexually active males are usually involved in many fights during their lives, and often have decidedly battered faces with obvious scars and cuts to their ears and nose.[154]

Cats have excellent night vision and can see at only one-sixth the light level required for human vision.[66]:43 This is partly the result of cat eyes having a tapetum lucidum, which reflects any light that passes through the retina back into the eye, thereby increasing the eye's sensitivity to dim light.[75] Another adaptation to dim light is the large pupils of cats' eyes. Unlike some big cats, such as tigers, domestic cats have slit pupils.[76] These slit pupils can focus bright light without chromatic aberration, and are needed since the domestic cat's pupils are much larger, relative to their eyes, than the pupils of the big cats.[76] At low light levels, a cat's pupils will expand to cover most of the exposed surface of its eyes.[77] However, domestic cats have rather poor color vision and (like most nonprimate mammals) have only two types of cones, optimized for sensitivity to blue and yellowish green; they have limited ability to distinguish between red and green.[78] A 1993 paper reported a response to middle wavelengths from a system other than the rods which might be due to a third type of cone. However, this appears to be an adaptation to low light levels rather than representing true trichromatic vision.[79]
Ekaterina Kazartseva says, “Hi!” She’s mostly known as Pinguinlog. She’s been drawing since childhood and has been doing it professionally for the past six years. “Mostly I’m interested in drawing nature and animals. I think we can learn a lot from the world around us, so I like to explore it from different angles.” She’s also the happy owner of a Caique parrot, Arthur, and two precious cats, Kitty and Sassy, who give her constant inspiration and good reference for Magical Kitties.

"Growltiger's Last Stand" has been criticised as being racially offensive. The original lyrics, taken directly from the Eliot poem it is based on, included the ethnic slur "Chinks" and this was later replaced with the word "Siamese".[32] The number also originally involved the cast putting on "Asian accents" to portray the Siamese cats.[305] In the 1998 video version, the entire scene featuring Growltiger was cut.[387] By 2016, "Growltiger's Last Stand" had been removed completely from the US and UK productions of the show.[32]
November 1985 saw the premiere of a Norwegian-language production at Det Norske Teatret in Oslo. It closed in January 1987 and included performers such as Øivind Blunck, Brit Elisabeth Haagensli and Øystein Wiik.[118][193] Jorma Uotinen directed and choreographed a Finnish production at the Helsinki City Theatre that ran for over two years from September 1986 to December 1988, and featured Monica Aspelund as Grizabella, Heikki Kinnunen as Gus, and Kristiina Elstelä as Jennyanydots/Griddlebone.[194] A Swedish version of the musical opened in 1987 at the Chinateatern in Stockholm. The production was seen by 326,000 audiences before it transferred to the Scandinavium in Gothenburg two years later.[195]

Within the first 2 days after birth, kittens acquire passive immunity from their mother’s milk.[30] Milk within the first few days of parturition is called colostrum, and contains high concentrations of immunoglobulins.[30] These include immunoglobulin A and immunoglobulin G which cross the intestinal barrier of the neonate.[29] The immunoglobulins and growth factors found in the colostrum begin to establish and strengthen the weak immune system of the offspring.[31] Kittens are able to chew solid food around 5–6 weeks after birth, and it is recommended that 30% of their diet should consist of solid food at this time.[32] The kitten remains on the mother’s milk until around eight weeks of age when weaning is complete and a diet of solid food is the primary food source.[23]


For the first several weeks, kittens cannot urinate or defecate without being stimulated by their mother.[6] They also cannot regulate their body temperature for the first three weeks, so kittens born in temperatures less than 27 °C (81 °F) can die from hypothermia if their mother does not keep them warm.[7] The mother's milk is very important for the kittens' nutrition and proper growth. This milk transfers antibodies to the kittens, which helps protect them against infectious disease.[8] Newborn kittens are unable to produce concentrated urine, and so have a very high requirement for fluids.[9] Kittens open their eyes about seven to ten days after birth. At first, the retina is poorly developed and vision is poor. Kittens cannot see as well as adult cats until about ten weeks after birth.[10]
To aid with navigation and sensation, cats have dozens of movable whiskers (vibrissae) over their body, especially their faces. These provide information on the width of gaps and on the location of objects in the dark, both by touching objects directly and by sensing air currents; they also trigger protective blink reflexes to protect the eyes from damage.[66]:47

Cats is a sung-through musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the 1939 poetry book Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot. It tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the night they make the "Jellicle choice", deciding which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life. The musical includes the well-known song "Memory" as sung by Grizabella.
Cats have excellent night vision and can see at only one-sixth the light level required for human vision.[66]:43 This is partly the result of cat eyes having a tapetum lucidum, which reflects any light that passes through the retina back into the eye, thereby increasing the eye's sensitivity to dim light.[75] Another adaptation to dim light is the large pupils of cats' eyes. Unlike some big cats, such as tigers, domestic cats have slit pupils.[76] These slit pupils can focus bright light without chromatic aberration, and are needed since the domestic cat's pupils are much larger, relative to their eyes, than the pupils of the big cats.[76] At low light levels, a cat's pupils will expand to cover most of the exposed surface of its eyes.[77] However, domestic cats have rather poor color vision and (like most nonprimate mammals) have only two types of cones, optimized for sensitivity to blue and yellowish green; they have limited ability to distinguish between red and green.[78] A 1993 paper reported a response to middle wavelengths from a system other than the rods which might be due to a third type of cone. However, this appears to be an adaptation to low light levels rather than representing true trichromatic vision.[79]
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