Lloyd Webber began composing the songs in late 1977 as a songwriting exercise, partly because Eliot's book had been a childhood favourite and partly to see if he could write music to predetermined lyrics. The compositions were performed privately for friends but Lloyd Webber had no further intentions for them at the time. After his song cycle Tell Me on a Sunday was televised by the BBC in early 1980, Lloyd Webber began to consider using his musicalizations of Eliot's poems in the same vein for a televised concert anthology.[8] He approached producer Cameron Mackintosh to discuss possible avenues for the songs.[9]
Cats conserve energy by sleeping more than most animals, especially as they grow older. The daily duration of sleep varies, usually between 12 and 16 hours, with 13 and 14 being the average. Some cats can sleep as much as 20 hours. The term "cat nap" for a short rest refers to the cat's tendency to fall asleep (lightly) for a brief period. While asleep, cats experience short periods of rapid eye movement sleep often accompanied by muscle twitches, which suggests they are dreaming.[129]

^ Jump up to: a b Oliveira, R.; Godinho, R.; Randi, E.; Alves, P. C. (2008). "Hybridization Versus Conservation: Are Domestic Cats Threatening the Genetic Integrity of Wildcats (Felis silvestris silvestris) in Iberian Peninsula?". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences. 363 (1505): 2953–2961. doi:10.1098/rstb.2008.0052. PMC 2606743. PMID 18522917.
Here in eight lines Eliot was describing an intensely recognizable character with powerful human resonances, while introducing the themes of mortality, and the past, which occur repeatedly in the major poems. We decided that if Eliot had thought of being serious, touching, almost tragic in his presentation of a feline character, then we had to be doing a show which could contain that material, and the implications of it. Furthermore, we would have to achieve the sense of progression through themes more than incidents.[17]
The lack of readily available glucose from the limited carbohydrates in the diet has resulted to the adaptation of the liver to produce glucose from the breakdown components of protein—amino acids. The enzymes that breakdown amino acids are constantly active in cats and thus, cats need a constant source of protein in their diet.[24] Kittens, require an increased amount of protein to supply readily available amino acids for daily maintenance and for building new body components seeing as they are constantly growing.[24] There are many required amino acids for kittens. Histidine is required at no greater than 30% in kitten diets since consuming histidine-free diets causes weight loss.[25]Tryptophan is required at 0.15% seeing as it maximized performance at this level.[25] Kittens also need the following amino acids supplemented in their diet: arginine to avoid an excess of ammonia in the blood otherwise known as hyperammonemia, isoleucine, leucine, valine, lysine, methionine as a sulfur containing amino acid, asparagine for maximal growth in the early post-weaning kitten, threonine and taurine to prevent from central retinal degeneration.[25]
Taurine is an essential amino acid found only in animal tissues and cannot be produced in sufficient amounts by the cat.[36] As it is an indispensable amino acid, it must be provided exogenously through the diet at 10 mg/kg bodyweight/day.[37] Kittens deprived of taurine can experience poor growth[36] and can result in retinal degeneration in cats.[38]
A few attempts to build a cat census have been made over the years, both through associations or national and international organizations (such as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies's one[245]) and over the Internet,[246][247] but such a task does not seem simple to achieve. General estimates for the global population of domestic cats range widely from anywhere between 200 million to 600 million.[248][249][250][251][252][253]
A film adaptation directed by Tom Hooper for Universal Pictures and Working Title Films is scheduled to premiere on 20 December 2019. The film will star Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella, Taylor Swift as Bombalurina, James Corden as Bustopher Jones, Judi Dench as Old Deuteronomy, Jason Derulo as Rum Tum Tugger, Idris Elba as Macavity, Ian McKellen as Gus, Rebel Wilson as Jennyanydots and Francesca Hayward as Victoria.[292]
^ 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.

Cats hunt small prey, primarily birds and rodents,[155] and are often used as a form of pest control.[156][157] Domestic cats are a major predator of wildlife in the United States, killing an estimated 1.4 to 3.7 billion birds and 6.9 to 20.7 billion mammals annually.[158][159] The bulk of predation in the United States is done by 80 million feral and stray cats. Effective measures to reduce this population are elusive, meeting opposition from cat enthusiasts.[158][159] In the case of free-ranging pets, equipping cats with bells and not letting them out at night will reduce wildlife predation.[155]
The musical returned to the West End in 2014 for a planned 12-week limited run at the London Palladium. Beginning on 6 December, the revival starred Nicole Scherzinger as Grizabella, and featured the original creative team, with direction from Nunn, choreography by Lynne and design by Napier.[62] Lloyd Webber was also involved and rewrote "The Rum Tum Tugger" and "Growltiger's Last Stand" for the revival.[101] The run was later extended through April 2015 and an additional 100,000 tickets were released, with Kerry Ellis replacing Scherzinger as Grizabella.[68] The musical returned once again to the London Palladium for another limited run lasting from 23 October 2015 to 2 January 2016, starring Beverley Knight as Grizabella.[102]
Practical Cats, as the show was then called, was first presented as a song cycle at the 1980 summer Sydmonton Festival. The concert was performed by Gemma Craven, Gary Bond and Paul Nicholas. Eliot's widow and literary executor, Valerie, was in attendance and brought along various unpublished cat-themed poems by Eliot. One of these was "Grizabella the Glamour Cat" which, although rejected from Eliot's book for being "too sad for children", gave Lloyd Webber the idea for a full-blown musical.[10] He explained:
Clio Yun-su Davis is a game designer and writer who creates larps, tabletop roleplaying games, interactive fiction games, and card games. Their freeform game The Long Drive Back from Busan won the Golden Cobra Challenge award for Best Game That Incorporates Meaningful, Non-Romantic Relationships in 2017, and their game about the future of ancestor worship, The Truth About Eternity, was presented at Fastaval 2019 in Denmark. http://www.cysdavis.com 

Practical Cats, as the show was then called, was first presented as a song cycle at the 1980 summer Sydmonton Festival. The concert was performed by Gemma Craven, Gary Bond and Paul Nicholas. Eliot's widow and literary executor, Valerie, was in attendance and brought along various unpublished cat-themed poems by Eliot. One of these was "Grizabella the Glamour Cat" which, although rejected from Eliot's book for being "too sad for children", gave Lloyd Webber the idea for a full-blown musical.[10] He explained:
"Cats" first premiered on London's West End 38 years ago and the hit musical, which also ran on Broadway for 18 years, will soon be back and bigger than ever — on the silver screen, that is. The first trailer for the upcoming "Cats" film was revealed on Friday, and fans got a glimpse of what Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift and other stars look like as singing and dancing felines.
After the show's closure on Broadway in 2000, Troika Entertainment obtained the touring rights for Cats and launched the show's first non-Equity national company.[119] After a try-out at Harrah's Atlantic City in July 2001, the production toured North America for 11 years from August 2001 to June 2012.[120][121][122] Performers in the non-Equity tour included Julie Garnyé as Jennyanydots (2001)[123] and Dee Roscioli as Grizabella (2002).[124][125] In January 2019, a new North American Equity tour based on the 2016 Broadway revival opened at the Providence Performing Arts Center in Rhode Island,[126] and is scheduled to run through June 2020.[127]

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]
Here in eight lines Eliot was describing an intensely recognizable character with powerful human resonances, while introducing the themes of mortality, and the past, which occur repeatedly in the major poems. We decided that if Eliot had thought of being serious, touching, almost tragic in his presentation of a feline character, then we had to be doing a show which could contain that material, and the implications of it. Furthermore, we would have to achieve the sense of progression through themes more than incidents.[17]
Female cats are seasonally polyestrous, which means they may have many periods of heat over the course of a year, the season beginning in spring and ending in late autumn. Heat periods occur about every two weeks and last about 4 to 7 days.[178] Multiple males will be attracted to a female in heat. The males will fight over her, and the victor wins the right to mate. At first, the female rejects the male, but eventually the female allows the male to mate. The female utters a loud yowl as the male pulls out of her because a male cat's penis has a band of about 120–150 backwards-pointing penile spines, which are about 1 mm long; upon withdrawal of the penis, the spines rake the walls of the female's vagina, which acts to induce ovulation. This act also occurs to clear the vagina of other sperm in the context of a second (or more) mating, thus giving the later males a larger chance of conception.[179]
Shortly after the Sydmonton Festival, Lloyd Webber began setting the unpublished poems he had been given to music, a few of which were later added into the show. He also composed the overture and "The Jellicle Ball", incorporating analog synthesizers into these orchestrations to try to create a unique electronic soundscape.[11] Meanwhile, Mackintosh recruited Nunn, the then artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), to direct Practical Cats. Nunn was an unusual choice as he was considered "too high-brow" for musical theatre,[12] but Mackintosh felt that a "pedigree" director was needed to ensure Valerie Eliot's approval of the project.[13] After much persuasion, Nunn came on board and was joined by his fellow RSC colleagues, choreographer Gillian Lynne and set and costume designer John Napier.[9][14] Nunn initially envisioned Practical Cats as a chamber piece for five actors and two pianos, which he felt would reflect "Eliot's charming, slightly offbeat, mildly satiric view of late-1930's London".[15] However, he relented to Lloyd Webber's more ambitious vision for the musical.[15] Nunn was also convinced that for the musical to have the wide commercial appeal that the producers desired, it could not remain as a series of isolated numbers but instead had to have a narrative through line.[14] He was therefore tasked with piecing the self-contained poems together into a story.[16] Nunn wrote about the significance "Grizabella the Glamour Cat" had on the construction of the narrative:

Several ancient religions believed cats are exalted souls, companions or guides for humans, that are all-knowing but mute so they cannot influence decisions made by humans. In Japan, the maneki neko cat is a symbol of good fortune.[269] In Norse mythology, Freyja, the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility, is depicted as riding a chariot drawn by cats.[270] In Jewish legend, the first cat was living in the house of the first man Adam as a pet that got rid of mice.[271] The cat was once partnering with the first dog before the latter broke an oath they had made which resulted in enmity between the descendants of these two animals.[271] It is also written that neither cats nor foxes are represented in the water, while every other animal has an incarnation species in the water.[271] Although no species are sacred in Islam, cats are revered by Muslims. Some Western writers have stated Muhammad had a favorite cat, Muezza.[272] He is reported to have loved cats so much, "he would do without his cloak rather than disturb one that was sleeping on it".[273] The story has no origin in early Muslim writers, and seems to confuse a story of a later Sufi saint, Ahmed ar-Rifa'i, centuries after Muhammad.[274] One of the companions of Muhammad was known as "Abu Hurayrah" (Father of the Kitten), in reference to his documented affection to cats.[275]
The original staging of Cats at the New London Theatre was considered revolutionary[85] and "one of the first truly immersive theatrical experiences".[34] Instead of a conventional proscenium, the theatre was quasi-in-the-round with a central revolving stage.[15][86] Nunn and Napier had sought to create "an environment rather than a set",[17] and around $900,000 was spent remodelling the New London in preparation for the show.[9] This included mounting sections of the stalls onto the theatre's 60 ft (18 m)[87] revolve such that the audience moved along with the stage.[16] When the show was brought to Broadway, the Winter Garden Theatre was given a similar $2 million makeover;[88] its proscenium stage was converted into a thrust, and a part of its roof was torn through to allow for the effects of Grizabella's ascension to the Heaviside Layer.[89]
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]

Clio Yun-su Davis is a game designer and writer who creates larps, tabletop roleplaying games, interactive fiction games, and card games. Their freeform game The Long Drive Back from Busan won the Golden Cobra Challenge award for Best Game That Incorporates Meaningful, Non-Romantic Relationships in 2017, and their game about the future of ancestor worship, The Truth About Eternity, was presented at Fastaval 2019 in Denmark. http://www.cysdavis.com 
The 2016 Broadway revival featured new choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, who introduced more hip hop and cool jazz elements to the movements and dances.[55] Blankenbuehler's choreography for the ensemble numbers did not differ too much from the original by Lynne, but significant changes were made in several solo numbers, including "The Rum Tum Tugger" and "Mr. Mistoffelees".[305]
Feral cats can live in forests, grasslands, tundra, coastal areas, agricultural land, scrublands, urban areas, and wetlands.[204] Their habitats include small islands with no human inhabitants.[205] The close relatives of the domestic cat, the African wildcat (Felis lybica) and the sand cat (F. margarita) both inhabit desert environments.[42] Domestic cats still show similar adaptations and behaviors.[103]
After the Jellicle Ball, Old Deuteronomy contemplates "what happiness is", referring to Grizabella. However, the cats do not understand him, so he has Jemima (or Sillabub, depending on the production), the youngest of all Jellicles, sing it in simpler terms ("The Moments of Happiness"). Gus – short for Asparagus – shuffles forward as the next cat to be introduced ("Gus: The Theatre Cat"). He was once a famous actor but is now old and "suffers from palsy which makes his paws shake". He is accompanied by Jellylorum, his caretaker, who tells of his exploits. Gus then remembers how he once played the infamous pirate captain, Growltiger a.k.a. the Terror of the Thames ("Growltiger's Last Stand"). Gus tells the story about the pirate captain's romance with Lady Griddlebone, and how Growltiger was overtaken by the Siamese and forced to walk the plank to his death.
Several ancient religions believed cats are exalted souls, companions or guides for humans, that are all-knowing but mute so they cannot influence decisions made by humans. In Japan, the maneki neko cat is a symbol of good fortune.[269] In Norse mythology, Freyja, the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility, is depicted as riding a chariot drawn by cats.[270] In Jewish legend, the first cat was living in the house of the first man Adam as a pet that got rid of mice.[271] The cat was once partnering with the first dog before the latter broke an oath they had made which resulted in enmity between the descendants of these two animals.[271] It is also written that neither cats nor foxes are represented in the water, while every other animal has an incarnation species in the water.[271] Although no species are sacred in Islam, cats are revered by Muslims. Some Western writers have stated Muhammad had a favorite cat, Muezza.[272] He is reported to have loved cats so much, "he would do without his cloak rather than disturb one that was sleeping on it".[273] The story has no origin in early Muslim writers, and seems to confuse a story of a later Sufi saint, Ahmed ar-Rifa'i, centuries after Muhammad.[274] One of the companions of Muhammad was known as "Abu Hurayrah" (Father of the Kitten), in reference to his documented affection to cats.[275]
Owing to the close similarity between play and hunting, cats prefer to play with objects that resemble prey, such as small furry toys that move rapidly, but rapidly lose interest (they become habituated) in a toy they have played with before.[174] Cats also tend to play with toys more when they are hungry.[175] String is often used as a toy, but if it is eaten, it can become caught at the base of the cat's tongue and then move into the intestines, a medical emergency which can cause serious illness, even death.[176] Owing to the risks posed by cats eating string, it is sometimes replaced with a laser pointer's dot, which cats may chase.[177]

Free-fed feral cats and house cats tend to consume many small meals in a single day, although the frequency and size of meals varies between individuals.[133] Cats use two hunting strategies, either stalking prey actively, or waiting in ambush until an animal comes close enough to be captured.[160] Although it is not certain, the strategy used may depend on the prey species in the area, with cats waiting in ambush outside burrows, but tending to actively stalk birds.[161]:153
The domestic cat's ability to thrive in almost any terrestrial habitat has led to its designation as one of the world's most invasive species.[203] As it is little altered from the wildcat, it can readily interbreed with the wildcat. This hybridization poses a danger to the genetic distinctiveness of some wildcat populations, particularly in Scotland and Hungary and possibly also the Iberian Peninsula.[56]
Many of the ensemble characters were created by the original cast through extensive improvisation sessions held during the rehearsal process. Said Nunn: "[O]n day one of rehearsals what we had was 15 poems set to music and five weeks later we had a show with characters, relationships and stories running from beginning to end."[24][25] The production faced a last minute mishap when Dench snapped her Achilles tendon during rehearsals for "The Old Gumbie Cat" and had to pull out one week before the first preview. Her understudy Myra Sands replaced her as Jennyanydots, while Elaine Paige agreed to take over the role of Grizabella. Opening night was pushed back to 11 May, but Mackintosh refused to postpone the previews as he wanted to dispel the industry rumours that the production was an impending debacle.[26]

Reactions to the original Broadway production were mixed.[302] In his review for The New York Times, Frank Rich noted that the main draw of the show was that it "transports the audience into a complete fantasy world that could only exist in the theater". He attributed much of this "wondrous spectacle" to Nunn's direction, Napier's set and costume designs, as well as the talented cast. Rich found many of Lloyd Webber's songs to be "cleverly and appropriately" pastiche, and was impressed with how Lynne and Nunn distinguished each character through personalised movement. However, he panned Lynne's choreography and felt that the musical failed in its vague attempt to tell a story. Overall, he wished that the show had more "feeling to go with its most inventive stagecraft."[303] Clive Barnes of the New York Post concluded his review saying: "Its importance lies in its wholeheartedness. It is a statement of musical theater that cannot be ignored, should prove controversial and will never be forgotten."[304]

Domestic kittens are commonly sent to new homes at six to eight weeks of age, but it has been suggested that being with their mother and litter-mates from six to twelve weeks is important for a kitten's social and behavioural development.[16] Usually, breeders and foster/rescue homes will not sell or adopt out a kitten that is younger than twelve weeks. In many jurisdictions, it is illegal to give away kittens younger than eight weeks of age.[18] Kittens generally reach sexual maturity at around seven months old. A cat reaches full "adulthood" around one year of age.[19]

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:


Nunn was also adamant that the orchestra for Cats be hidden backstage — out of the audience's view — so as not to break the immersion.[90] Adding to the experience, the show usually includes a lot of audience interaction, such as during the overture when the cast don flashing "green eyes" as they make their way through the audience in the darkened theatre.[80][91] In the original Broadway production, catwalks were built to connect the stage to the boxes and balcony so as to give the cast access to the entire auditorium during the show.[92]
Another unusual feature is that the cat cannot produce taurine,[note 1] with a deficiency in this nutrient causing macular degeneration, wherein the cat's retina slowly breaks down, causing irreversible blindness.[103] This is due to the hepatic activity of cystinesulfinic acid decarboxylase being low in cats. This limits the ability of cats to biosynthesize the taurine they need from its precursor, the amino acid cysteine, which ultimately results in inadequate taurine production needed for normal function. Deficiencies in taurine result in compensated function of feline cardiovascular and reproductive systems. These abnormalities can also be accompanied by developmental issues in the central nervous system along with degeneration of the retina.[118]
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