Cats are ready to go to new homes at about 12 weeks of age, when they are ready to leave their mother. They can be surgically sterilized (spayed or castrated) as early as 7 weeks to limit unwanted reproduction. This surgery also prevents undesirable sex-related behavior, such as aggression, territory marking (spraying urine) in males and yowling (calling) in females. Traditionally, this surgery was performed at around six to nine months of age, but it is increasingly being performed before puberty, at about three to six months. In the US, about 80% of household cats are neutered.
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"Growltiger's Last Stand" has been criticised as being racially offensive. The original lyrics, taken directly from the Eliot poem it is based on, included the ethnic slur "Chinks" and this was later replaced with the word "Siamese". The number also originally involved the cast putting on "Asian accents" to portray the Siamese cats. In the 1998 video version, the entire scene featuring Growltiger was cut. By 2016, "Growltiger's Last Stand" had been removed completely from the US and UK productions of the show.
Following the closure of the original West End production, a nationwide tour embarked in 2003 with Chrissie Hammond starring as Grizabella, until Dianne Pilkington took over the role in 2006. Hammond reprised the role on tour again from 2007 to 2008. A UK tour of Cats launched in February 2013 at the Edinburgh Playhouse with Joanna Ampil as Grizabella, running through 2014 before transferring to the West End. In between its limited West End runs, the musical returned to the Blackpool Opera House Theatre in 2015, this time starring Jane McDonald as Grizabella. After the second West End revival, the production toured the UK in 2016 with Anita Louise Combe as Grizabella and Marcquelle Ward as Rum Tum Tugger.
Colleen Riley is a freelance editor, artist, and immigration paralegal. Her credits include The White Box, Beating the Story, Friendly Local Game Store, Meeples Together, Unknown Armies 3, Infinity, Laser Kittens, More Kittens, Black Mass, and Cavaliers of Mars: Witch-Queen of the Shadowed Citadel. She has also down a lot of work on the Technoir line Technoir, Mechnoir, Morenoir) and the Trinity Continuum (Æon Æxpansion, Distant Worlds, and In Media Res). She serves four (mostly) benevolent feline overlords in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her Twitter (@wordbunny) and Instagram (colleen_elizabeth_riley) are primarily cat pictures.
The origin of the English word cat (Old English catt) and its counterparts in other Germanic languages (such as German Katze), descended from Proto-Germanic *kattōn-, is controversial. It was thought traditionally to be a borrowing from Late Latin cattus, 'domestic cat', from catta (used around 75 AD by Martial), compare also Byzantine Greek κάττα, Portuguese and Spanish gato, French chat, Maltese qattus, Lithuanian katė, and Old Church Slavonic kotъ (kot'), among others.