The cat skull is unusual among mammals in having very large eye sockets and a powerful specialized jaw.:35 Within the jaw, cats have teeth adapted for killing prey and tearing meat. When it overpowers its prey, a cat delivers a lethal neck bite with its two long canine teeth, inserting them between two of the prey's vertebrae and severing its spinal cord, causing irreversible paralysis and death. Compared to other felines, domestic cats have narrowly spaced canine teeth relative to the size of their jaw, which is an adaptation to their preferred prey of small rodents, which have small vertebrae. The premolar and first molar together compose the carnassial pair on each side of the mouth, which efficiently shears meat into small pieces, like a pair of scissors. These are vital in feeding, since cats' small molars cannot chew food effectively, and cats are largely incapable of mastication.:37 Although cats tend to have better teeth than most humans, with decay generally less likely because of a thicker protective layer of enamel, a less damaging saliva, less retention of food particles between teeth, and a diet mostly devoid of sugar, they are nonetheless subject to occasional tooth loss and infection.
The original London production received mostly rave reviews, with critics hailing it as a watershed moment in British musical theatre. Michael Billington of The Guardian lauded Cats as "an exhilarating piece of total theatre". Billington praised the show's "strong framework" and the ease in which the poems were integrated. He was also very impressed by Lloyd Webber's fitting compositions, Napier's environmental set, Lynne's effective and at times brilliant choreography, and Nunn's "dazzling staging" that makes use of the entire auditorium. The show received similarly glowing reviews from The Sunday Times' Derek Jewell and The Stage's Peter Hepple. Jewell proclaimed it to be "among the most exhilarating and innovative musicals ever staged", while Hepple declared that with Cats, "the British musical has taken a giant leap forward, surpassing in ingenuity and invention anything Broadway has sent us".
"Memory" is the standout hit song from Cats. By 2002, the song had been played over two million times on radio and television stations in the US. It was the most requested song at piano bars and lounges in the 1980s, and was an equally popular choice at weddings, concerts and other gatherings. As of 2006, the song had been recorded around 600 times by artists such as Barbra Streisand, Barry Manilow, Judy Collins, and Johnny Mathis, in covers ranging from easy listening to techno. According to Sternfeld, it is "by some estimations the most successful song ever from a musical."
Cats have excellent night vision and can see at only one-sixth the light level required for human vision.: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. Another adaptation to dim light is the large pupils of cats' eyes. Unlike some big cats, such as tigers, domestic cats have slit pupils. 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. At low light levels, a cat's pupils will expand to cover most of the exposed surface of its eyes. 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. 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.
Paul Dean is a writer. In addition to co-founding the board games site/show Shut Up & Sit Down and co-creating the latest edition of the Paranoia RPG, Paul has also contributed to or been featured in publications and outlets as diverse as The Telegraph, Eurogamer, IGN, How We Get to Next, The New Statesmen, The Guardian, RockPaperShotgun, and BBC Radio. (He’s even got a Cadbury’s Children’s Poetry Collection.) Later this year his scenario “We’ll Temporarily Have Paris” will appear in the Feng Shui 2 adventure anthology Have Fist, Will Travel.
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. 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.
Meanwhile, the Carré Theatre in Amsterdam, Netherlands, staged the musical in 1987 (with Ruth Jacott as Grizabella), 1988 and from 1992 to 1993. Cats made its French debut at the Théâtre de Paris from February 1989 to April 1990, with an original cast that included Gilles Ramade as Old Deuteronomy. The show was also produced in Zürich at the ABB Musical Theatre from 1991 to 1993, while a production by Joop van den Ende and the Royal Ballet of Flanders was staged at the Stadsschouwburg Antwerpen in Belgium in 1996. An English/German-language "Eurotour" production also toured the region from May 1994 to December 1995.
About 250 heritable genetic disorders have been identified in cats, many similar to human inborn errors. The high level of similarity among the metabolism of mammals allows many of these feline diseases to be diagnosed using genetic tests that were originally developed for use in humans, as well as the use of cats as animal models in the study of the human diseases.
^ Rayner, M. J.; Hauber, M. E.; Imber, M. J.; Stamp, R. K.; Clout, M. N. (2007). "Spatial Heterogeneity of Mesopredator Release within an Oceanic Island System". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 104 (52): 20862–20865. Bibcode:2007PNAS..10420862R. doi:10.1073/pnas.0707414105. PMC 2409232. PMID 18083843.
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. He explained:
Cats is completely told through music with no dialogue in between the songs, although there are occasions when the music accompanies spoken verse. Lloyd Webber's compositions employ an eclectic range of musical styles so as to magnify the characters' contrasting personalities. For example, the rebellious Rum Tum Tugger is introduced with a rock song ("The Rum Tum Tugger"); the fallen Grizabella is accompanied by a dramatic operatic aria ("Grizabella: The Glamour Cat"); Old Deuteronomy makes his grand entrance to a lullaby-turned-anthem ("Old Deuteronomy"); and Gus' nostalgia for the past is reflected through an old-fashioned music hall number ("Gus: The Theatre Cat"). Many of the songs are pastiches of their respective genres, which Snelson attributes to the show's origins as a song cycle:
Kittens require a high-calorie diet that contains more protein than the diet of adult cats. Young orphaned kittens require cat milk every two to four hours, and they need physical stimulation to defecate and urinate. Cat milk replacement is manufactured to feed to young kittens, because cow's milk does not provide all the necessary nutrients. Human-reared kittens tend to be very affectionate with humans as adults and sometimes more dependent on them than kittens reared by their mothers, but they can also show volatile mood swings and aggression. Depending on the age at which they were orphaned and how long they were without their mothers, these kittens may be severely underweight and can have health problems later in life, such as heart conditions. The compromised immune system of orphaned kittens (from lack of antibodies found naturally in the mother's milk) can make them especially susceptible to infections, making antibiotics a necessity.
Taurine is an essential amino acid found only in animal tissues and cannot be produced in sufficient amounts by the cat. As it is an indispensable amino acid, it must be provided exogenously through the diet at 10 mg/kg bodyweight/day. Kittens deprived of taurine can experience poor growth and can result in retinal degeneration in cats.
Until approximately one year of age, the kitten is undergoing a growth phase where energy requirements are up to 2.5 times higher than maintenance. Pet nutritionists often suggest that a commercial cat food designed specifically for kittens should be offered beginning at 4 weeks of age. Fat has a higher caloric value than carbohydrates and protein, supplying 8.5kcal/g. The growing kitten requires arachidonic and linoleic acid which can be provided in omega-3 fatty acids. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is another vital nutrient that can be supplied through omega 3 fatty acid. Addition of DHA to the diet benefits the cognition, brain and visual development of kittens.
Dance plays a major role in Cats as the creative team had specifically set out to create "England's first dance musical". Before Cats, the industry-wide belief was that British dancers were inferior to their Broadway counterparts. The risky hiring of a British choreographer, Lynne, for a British dance musical was described by one historian as "a vivid and marvellous gesture of transatlantic defiance". Making Lynne's job more challenging was the fact that the music in Cats is unceasing and the majority of the cast remains onstage throughout nearly the entire show.
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. This production was revived and toured South Korea from 2011 to 2012, with Insooni and Park Hae-mi taking turns to portray Grizabella. The first Mandarin-language production toured various cities in China in 2012.
After Hamburg, the German production transferred to Stuttgart where it played from 2001 to 2002. Stage Entertainment took over the production mid-2002 and moved the show to Berlin (2002–2004) and later Düsseldorf (2004–2005), before touring other cities until 2006. Mehr-Entertainment launched a separate tour of Cats that ran from December 2010 to June 2013, performing in a travelling purpose-built tent theatre. Besides Germany, this company also made stops in cities in Luxembourg, Switzerland and Austria.
^ Jump up to: a b Ottoni, C.; Van Neer, W.; De Cupere, B.; Daligault, J.; Guimaraes, S.; Peters, J.; Spassov, N.; Prendergast, M. E.; Boivin, N.; Morales-Muñiz, A.; Bălăşescu, A.; Becker, C.; Benecke, N.; Boroneant, A.; Buitenhuis, H.; Chahoud, J.; Crowther, A.; Llorente, L.; Manaseryan, N.; Monchot, H.; Onar, V.; Osypińska, M.; Putelat, O.; Quintana Morales, E. M.; Studer, J.; Wierer, U.; Decorte, R.; Grange, T.; Geigl, E. (2017). "The palaeogenetics of cat dispersal in the ancient world". Nature Ecology & Evolution. 1 (7): 0139. doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0139. ISSN 2397-334X.
Just kitten around Third baseman Eduardo Escobar is not a cat person, and teammates David Peralta, Wilmer Flores and Ildemaro Vargas love that about him. — Jenna Ortiz, azcentral, "Diamondbacks starter Luke Weaver's latest MRI reveals good news," 24 June 2019 Kitten in car wheel: Iverson St., 2500 block, Temple Hills, June 3. — Jillian S. Jarrett, Washington Post, "Prince George’s County Animal Watch," 20 June 2017 Things start cooking when Keanu disappears, forcing Rell and Clarence to play detective while chasing leads and kitten tail. — Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "With ‘Keanu,’ Key & Peele Break Into Feature Films — Kittens in Tow APRIL 20, 2016," 28 Apr. 2016
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. 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.
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.
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. He approached producer Cameron Mackintosh to discuss possible avenues for the songs.
By 2012, the royalty payments from Cats to the Eliot estate had totaled an estimated $100 million. Valerie Eliot used a portion of this money to establish the literary charity Old Possum's Practical Trust, and to set up the T. S. Eliot Prize which has since become "the most coveted award in poetry". Cats also turned things around for the independent British publishing house Faber and Faber. As the publisher of Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, royalties of up to £1 million annually kept the then-struggling Faber afloat during the 1980s. Moreover, the musical led to a surge in the sales of Eliot's book. The success of Cats led Faber to turn another of their literary properties, Ted Hughes' The Iron Man, into a 1989 musical of the same name.
Many cultures have negative superstitions about cats. An example would be the belief that a black cat "crossing one's path" leads to bad luck, or that cats are witches' familiars used to augment a witch's powers and skills. The killing of cats in Medieval Ypres, Belgium, is commemorated in the innocuous present-day Kattenstoet (cat parade). In medieval France, cats would be burnt alive as a form of entertainment. According to Norman Davies, the assembled people "shrieked with laughter as the animals, howling with pain, were singed, roasted, and finally carbonized".
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Cats and many other animals have a Jacobson's organ in their mouths that is used in the behavioral process of flehmening. It allows them to sense certain aromas in a way that humans cannot. Cats are sensitive to pheromones such as 3-mercapto-3-methylbutan-1-ol, which they use to communicate through urine spraying and marking with scent glands. Many cats also respond strongly to plants that contain nepetalactone, especially catnip, as they can detect that substance at less than one part per billion. About 70–80% of cats are affected by nepetalactone. This response is also produced by other plants, such as silver vine (Actinidia polygama) and the herb valerian; it may be caused by the smell of these plants mimicking a pheromone and stimulating cats' social or sexual behaviors.