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 can synthesize niacin, but their breakdown exceeds the rate that it can be synthesized and thus, have a higher need for it, which can be fulfilled through an animal-based diet. Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) is required in increased amounts seeing as it is needed to produce amino acids. To continue, vitamin B12 is an AAFCO-recommended vitamin essential in the metabolism of carbohydrates and protein and maintains a healthy nervous system, healthy mucous membranes, healthy muscle and heart function and in general, promotes normal growth and development. Choline is also a AAFCO recommended ingredient for kittens, which is important for neurotransmission in the brain and as a component of membrane phospholipids. Biotin is another AAFCO-recommended vitamin to support thyroid and adrenal glands and the reproductive and nervous systems. Kittens also require riboflavin (vitamin B2) for heart health, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), and folacin.
Back in the present, after Gus exits, Skimbleshanks is seen sleeping in the corner ("Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat"). He is the cat who is unofficially in charge of the night train to Glasgow. Skimbleshanks is considered vital to the rail operations, as without him "the train can't start". Within his song, a whole steam train engine is assembled out of objects in the junkyard.
The Japanese-language production of Cats by the Shiki Theatre Company has been playing continuously since November 1983. This production is a "slow tour" with engagements lasting for several years in each of the nine cities it has visited. The musical premiered in a purpose-built tent theatre in Shinjuku, Tokyo, with a Japanese script translated by Keita Asari, the founder of the Shiki Theatre Company. There had never been a long-running stage production in Japan prior to Cats, and the huge success of this production led to what the local media termed a "musical boom" in the 1980s, with other Broadway musicals quickly following suit and opening in Japan.
Life in proximity to humans and other domestic animals has led to a symbiotic social adaptation in cats, and cats may express great affection toward humans or other animals. Ethologically, the human keeper of a cat may function as a sort of surrogate for the cat's mother, and adult housecats live their lives in a kind of extended kittenhood, a form of behavioral neoteny. The high-pitched sounds housecats make to solicit food may mimic the cries of a hungry human infant, making them particularly difficult for humans to ignore.
"It was the custom to burn a basket, barrel, or sack full of live cats, which was hung from a tall mast in the midst of the bonfire; sometimes a fox was burned. The people collected the embers and ashes of the fire and took them home, believing that they brought good luck. The French kings often witnessed these spectacles and even lit the bonfire with their own hands. In 1648 Louis XIV, crowned with a wreath of roses and carrying a bunch of roses in his hand, kindled the fire, danced at it and partook of the banquet afterwards in the town hall. But this was the last occasion when a monarch presided at the midsummer bonfire in Paris. At Metz midsummer fires were lighted with great pomp on the esplanade, and a dozen cats, enclosed in wicker cages, were burned alive in them, to the amusement of the people. Similarly at Gap, in the department of the Hautes-Alpes, cats used to be roasted over the midsummer bonfire."
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^ Jump up to: a b Driscoll, C. A.; Macdonald, D. W.; O'Brien, S. J. (2009). "In the Light of Evolution III: Two Centuries of Darwin Sackler Colloquium: From Wild Animals to Domestic Pets – An Evolutionary View of Domestication". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 106 (S1): 9971–9978. Bibcode:2009PNAS..106.9971D. doi:10.1073/pnas.0901586106. PMC 2702791. PMID 19528637.
An alternative word is English puss (extended as pussy and pussycat). Attested only from the 16th century, it may have been introduced from Dutch poes or from Low German puuskatte, related to Swedish kattepus, or Norwegian pus, pusekatt. Similar forms exist in Lithuanian puižė and Irish puisín or puiscín. The etymology of this word is unknown, but it may have simply arisen from a sound used to attract a cat.