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]
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]
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]
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]
^ Jump up to: a b Loss, Scott R.; Will, Tom; Marra, Peter P. (29 January 2013). "The impact of free-ranging domestic cats on wildlife of the United States". Nature Communications. 4. Article number 1396. Bibcode:2013NatCo...4.1396L. doi:10.1038/ncomms2380. PMID 23360987. We estimate that free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.4–3.7 billion birds and 6.9–20.7 billion mammals annually.

The Dutch live entertainment company Stage Entertainment has been responsible for several European productions of Cats. The company produced the musical at the Coliseum Theatre in Madrid from December 2003 to January 2005, with a cast that included Víctor Ullate as Mistoffelees.[210][211] They then staged a Russian-language production at the Moscow Palace of Youth from 2005 to 2006, with a cast that included Ivan Ozhogin as Munkustrap.[212][213] A Dutch production under the same company toured the Netherlands and Belgium from 2006 to 2007,[205][214] featuring several performers in the role of Grizabella including Pia Douwes and Anita Meyer.[215][216] A Paris revival by Stage Entertainment ran at the Théâtre Mogador from October 2015 to July 2016. This production was based on the 2014 London revival and also featured a new song written especially for the French show by Lloyd Webber.[217][218]
Lloyd Webber also employs various techniques to help connect the pieces. Namely, the score relies heavily on recurring motifs as well as the use of preludes and reprises.[76] For instance, melodic fragments of "Memory" are sung by Grizabella and Jemima at several points in the show before the song is sung in full,[39] serving to characterize Grizabella and foreshadow her final number.[77][78] Similarly, Lloyd Webber introduces a fugue in the overture, and variations of this theme are then repeated throughout the musical until it is finally resolved as Grizabella ascends to the Heaviside Layer.[79]
Most breeds of cat have a noted fondness for settling in high places, or perching. In the wild, a higher place may serve as a concealed site from which to hunt; domestic cats may strike prey by pouncing from a perch such as a tree branch, as does a leopard.[94] Another possible explanation is that height gives the cat a better observation point, allowing it to survey its territory. A cat falling from heights of up to 3 meters can right itself and land on its paws.[95]
It was long thought that cat domestication was initiated in Egypt, because cats in ancient Egypt were venerated from around 3100 BC.[11][12] However, the earliest indication for the taming of an African wildcat (F. lybica) was found in Cyprus, where a cat skeleton was excavated close by a human Neolithic grave dating to around 7500 BC.[13] African wildcats were probably first domesticated in the Near East.[14] The leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) was tamed independently in China around 5500 BC, though this line of partially domesticated cats leaves no trace in the domestic cat populations of today.[15][16]
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