After Hamburg, the German production transferred to Stuttgart where it played from 2001 to 2002.[182][183] Stage Entertainment took over the production mid-2002 and moved the show to Berlin (2002–2004)[184][185] and later Düsseldorf (2004–2005),[186] before touring other cities until 2006.[187][188] Mehr-Entertainment launched a separate tour of Cats that ran from December 2010 to June 2013, performing in a travelling purpose-built tent theatre.[180] Besides Germany, this company also made stops in cities in Luxembourg, Switzerland and Austria.[189]
The domestic cat is a member of the Felidae, a family that had a common ancestor about 10–15 million years ago.[45] The genus Felis diverged from the Felidae around 6–7 million years ago.[46] Members of this genus include the jungle cat (F. chaus), European wildcat (F. silvestris), African wildcat (F. lybica), Chinese mountain cat (F. bieti), sand cat (F. margarita) and black-footed cat (F. nigripes).[47] Results of phylogenetic research confirm that these wild Felis species evolved through sympatric or parapatric speciation, whereas the domestic cat evolved through artificial selection.[48]
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Cats debuted on Broadway on 7 October 1982 at the Winter Garden Theatre with a record-breaking $6.2 million in ticket pre-sales.[27] Most of the original creative team remained, with Martin Levan replacing Jacob as the sound designer and Stanley Lebowsky replacing Rabinowitz as music director. The musical was co-produced by the original London production team, along with David Geffen and The Shubert Organization.[103] It was the most expensive Broadway show ever mounted at the time with a production cost of $5.5 million,[104] though it recouped its investment in less than 10 months.[100] On 19 June 1997, Cats overtook A Chorus Line to become the longest-running show in Broadway history with 6,138 performances.[105] At the time, the musical was found to have had an economic impact of $3.12 billion on New York City and had generated the most theatrical jobs of any single entity in Broadway history.[95] A June closing date was announced in early 2000 but was subsequently pushed back after a resulting surge in ticket sales.[106] The show closed on 10 September 2000 after a total of 13 previews and 7,485 performances.[103] One actress, Marlene Danielle, performed in the Broadway production for its entire 18-year run.[72] Its Broadway-run record was surpassed on 9 January 2006 by The Phantom of the Opera, and Cats remains Broadway's fourth-longest-running show of all time. Overall, the original Broadway production grossed approximately $388 million in ticket sales.[107]
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.
During a fall from a high place, a cat reflexively twists its body and rights itself to land on its feet using its acute sense of balance and flexibility. This reflex is known as the cat righting reflex.[96] An individual cat always rights itself in the same way during a fall, provided it has sufficient time to do so. The height required for this to occur is around 90 cm (3.0 ft).[97] Cats without a tail also have this reflex.[98] Several explanations have been proposed for this phenomenon since the late 19th century:

Napier began designing the set in November 1980, wanting "a place where cats might congregate together, which also included maximum room for dancing".[93] The set of Cats consists of a junkyard filled with oversized props to give the illusion that the cast are the size of actual cats;[94] it remains the same throughout the show without any scene changes. Over 2,500 of these scaled-up props were used to fill the whole auditorium in the original Broadway production.[16][95]
Cats are naturally carnivores and require high amounts of protein in the diet. Kittens are undergoing growth and require high amounts of protein to provide essential amino acids that enable the growth of tissues and muscles.[30] It is recommended that kittens consume a diet containing approximately 30% protein on a dry matter basis for proper growth.[35]
By 2012, the royalty payments from Cats to the Eliot estate had totaled an estimated $100 million.[294] 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".[337][338] 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[316] kept the then-struggling Faber afloat during the 1980s.[339] Moreover, the musical led to a surge in the sales of Eliot's book.[1] 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.[340]
Cats premiered in the West End at the New London Theatre on 11 May 1981. The musical was produced by Mackintosh and Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group, with direction by Nunn, choreography by Lynne (who also served as the associate director), set and costume design by Napier, lighting design by David Hersey, sound design by Abe Jacob and music direction by Harry Rabinowitz.[98] It played a total of 8,949 performances before closing on its 21st anniversary, 11 May 2002. The final performance was broadcast live on a large outdoor screen in Covent Garden for fans who could not acquire a ticket.[99] Cats held the record as London's longest-running musical from 1989, when it surpassed Jesus Christ Superstar,[100] until 8 October 2006, when it was surpassed by Les Misérables.

The musical was scheduled to open on 30 April 1981, with previews starting on 22 April. Shortly before tickets went on sale in mid-February, Nunn revealed to the alarmed producers that he was struggling to write the script for the musical. Despite still having no established book or score, rehearsals began on 9 March 1981 in a church hall in Chiswick, London. The original music director, Chris Walker, became so frustrated with the unfinished score that he quit by lunchtime and was replaced by the film conductor Harry Rabinowitz.[20] The situation improved later that day when Lloyd Webber, Mackintosh and Nunn met with Stilgoe, a musician known for his ability to improvise lyrics on the spot, in hopes that Stilgoe could write an opening song for the musical. By the next evening, Stilgoe had produced a draft for "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats".[21] However, "Memory", an 11 o'clock number for Grizabella that Nunn insisted the show needed as its "emotional centre",[22] still had no lyrics at this point. Lloyd Webber's former writing partner Tim Rice was brought in to write a lyric for the song, but his version was rejected by Nunn for being too depressing. The lyrics for "Memory" were not completed by Nunn until well into the previews.[23]

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]
In Magical Kitties Save the Day, one player — known as the Game Master (GM) — has a very special role. They describe the world in which the magical kitties live to the other players and, when the kitties take action, they use the rules of the game to figure out what happens next. Magical Kitties also includes “Magical Kitties & The Game Master’s First Adventure.” Just as The Big Adventure will walk new players through how to play the game, “The Game Master’s First Adventure” will walk first-time Game Masters through how to run the game for their friends and family.
To date, little scientific data is available to assess the impact of cat predation on prey populations outside of agricultural situations. Even well-fed domestic cats may hunt and kill, mainly catching small mammals, but also birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, and invertebrates.[155][210] Hunting by domestic cats may be contributing to the decline in the numbers of birds in urban areas, although the importance of this effect remains controversial.[211] In the wild, the introduction of feral cats during human settlement can threaten native species with extinction.[205] In many cases, controlling or eliminating the populations of non-native cats can produce a rapid recovery in native animals.[212] However, the ecological role of introduced cats can be more complicated. For example, cats can control the numbers of rats, which also prey on birds' eggs and young, so a cat population can protect an endangered bird species by suppressing mesopredators.[213]
Even in places with ancient and numerous cat populations, such as Western Europe, cats appear to be growing in number and independently of their environments' carrying capacity (such as the numbers of prey available).[217][218] This may be explained, at least in part, by an abundance of food, from sources including feeding by pet owners and scavenging. For instance, research in Britain suggests that a high proportion of cats hunt only "recreationally",[218] and in South Sweden, where research in 1982 found that the population density of cats was as high as 2,000 per square kilometre (5,200/sq mi).[217]
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]
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]
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.
Domestic cats select food based on its temperature, smell and texture; they dislike chilled foods and respond most strongly to moist foods rich in amino acids, which are similar to meat.[113][133] Cats may reject novel flavors (a response termed neophobia) and learn quickly to avoid foods that have tasted unpleasant in the past.[133] They may also avoid sugary foods and milk. Most adult cats are lactose intolerant; the sugars in milk are not easily digested and may cause soft stools or diarrhea.[133][166] They can also develop odd eating habits. Some cats like to eat or chew on other things, most commonly wool, but also plastic, cables, paper, string, aluminum foil, or even coal. This condition, pica, can threaten their health, depending on the amount and toxicity of the items eaten.[167][168] See also Animal psychopathology § Pica.
Lloyd Webber began setting Eliot's poems to music in 1977 and the compositions were first presented as a song cycle in 1980. Producer Cameron Mackintosh then recruited director Trevor Nunn and choreographer Gillian Lynne to turn the songs into a complete musical. Cats opened to positive reviews at the New London Theatre in the West End in 1981 and then to mixed reviews at the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway in 1982. It won numerous awards including Best Musical at both the Laurence Olivier and Tony Awards. Despite its unusual premise which deterred investors initially, the musical turned out to be an unprecedented commercial success, with a worldwide gross of $3.5 billion by 2012.
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."
Public attitudes towards feral cats vary widely, ranging from seeing them as free-ranging pets, to regarding them as vermin.[208] One common approach to reducing the feral cat population is termed 'trap-neuter-return', where the cats are trapped, neutered, immunized against diseases such as rabies and the feline Panleukopenia and Leukemia viruses, and then released.[209] Before releasing them back into their feral colonies, the attending veterinarian often nips the tip off one ear to mark it as neutered and inoculated, since these cats may be trapped again. Volunteers continue to feed and give care to these cats throughout their lives. Given this support, their lifespans are increased, and behavior and nuisance problems caused by competition for food are reduced.[206]
Among domestic cats, males are more likely to fight than females.[149] Among feral cats, the most common reason for cat fighting is competition between two males to mate with a female. In such cases, most fights are won by the heavier male.[150] Another common reason for fighting in domestic cats is the difficulty of establishing territories within a small home.[149] Female cats also fight over territory or to defend their kittens. Neutering will decrease or eliminate this behavior in many cases, suggesting that the behavior is linked to sex hormones.[151]
Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for «fair use» for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of «fair use». The recent amendments to the Copyright Act of 1976 pertain to music. «Fair use» remains in force for film and video.
Napier began designing the set in November 1980, wanting "a place where cats might congregate together, which also included maximum room for dancing".[93] The set of Cats consists of a junkyard filled with oversized props to give the illusion that the cast are the size of actual cats;[94] it remains the same throughout the show without any scene changes. Over 2,500 of these scaled-up props were used to fill the whole auditorium in the original Broadway production.[16][95]
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.
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Cats started the megamusical phenomenon, establishing Broadway as a global industry and directing its focus to big-budget blockbusters, as well as family- and tourist-friendly shows. Its profound but polarizing influence also reshaped the aesthetic, technology, and marketing of the medium. The musical was adapted into a direct-to-video film in 1998, with a feature film adaptation by Tom Hooper set to follow in 2019.
Feral cats are domestic cats that were born in or have reverted to a wild state. They are unfamiliar with and wary of humans and roam freely in urban and rural areas.[10] The numbers of feral cats is not known, but estimates of the US feral population range from 25 to 60 million.[10] Feral cats may live alone, but most are found in large colonies, which occupy a specific territory and are usually associated with a source of food.[206] Famous feral cat colonies are found in Rome around the Colosseum and Forum Romanum, with cats at some of these sites being fed and given medical attention by volunteers.[207]
Preformed vitamin A is required in the cat for retinal and reproductive health. Vitamin A is considered to be a fat-soluble vitamin and is seen as essential in a cat's diet. Normally, the conversion of beta-carotenes into vitamin A occurs in the intestine (more specifically the mucosal layer) of species, however cats lack the ability to undergo this process.[121] Both the kidney and liver are contributors to the use of vitamin A in the body of the majority of species while the cats liver does not produce the enzyme Beta-carotene 15,15'-monooxygenase which converts the beta-carotene into retinol (vitamin A).[122] To summarize: cats do not have high levels of this enzyme leading to the cleavage and oxidation of carotenoids not taking place.[120]