Napier also designed the costumes, combining cat and human features based on "hints" given in Eliot's poems, while ensuring that they did not impede the dancers' movements.[93] The costumes generally consist of a unitard, a wig that is fashioned to suggest the presence of feline ears, patches resembling body fur, and arm and leg warmers to give the performers' hands and feet a more paw-like appearance. As with the contrasting music and dance styles, the costumes and make-up are used to bring out each character's distinct personality. For example, the costume for the flirtatious Bombalurina is designed to accentuate her sexiness, while the markings on the costume for Jemima — the youngest of the tribe — resemble crayon scribbles.[24] Every character's design motif is custom-painted by hand onto a plain unitard to line up with their performer's individual body. In order to reproduce the "hand-drawn aesthetic" of Napier's original design sketches, costume painters in the original Broadway production used squeeze bottles to apply the paint. Due to the amount of dancing in Cats, most of the costume did not last longer than a few months.[96]
The first Australian production ran from July 1985 to August 1987 at the Theatre Royal in Sydney. The original Sydney cast included Debra Byrne as Grizabella, Marina Prior as Jellylorum, Jeff Phillips as Rum Tum Tugger, David Atkins as Mistoffelees, and Anita Louise Combe as Sillabub.[118][230] It then moved to Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne where it played from October 1987 to December 1988, with Femi Taylor as Bombalurina and Seán Martin Hingston as Plato/Macavity.[118][231] From 1989 to 1990, the company toured the Festival Theatre in Adelaide,[232] His Majesty's Theatre in Perth,[233] Civic Theatre in Newcastle, Lyric Theatre in Brisbane, and the Aotea Centre in Auckland.[118] This was followed by a second national tour from 1993 to 1996,[234] during which Delia Hannah made her debut as Grizabella in 1994.[235] A professional circus adaptation of Cats, titled Cats Run Away to the Circus, had a national tent tour from 1999 to 2001, with Hannah once again starring as Grizabella.[236][237] Hannah reprised her role for another production that toured Australia and Asia in 2009 and 2010.[238]
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]
November 1985 saw the premiere of a Norwegian-language production at Det Norske Teatret in Oslo. It closed in January 1987 and included performers such as Øivind Blunck, Brit Elisabeth Haagensli and Øystein Wiik.[118][193] Jorma Uotinen directed and choreographed a Finnish production at the Helsinki City Theatre that ran for over two years from September 1986 to December 1988, and featured Monica Aspelund as Grizabella, Heikki Kinnunen as Gus, and Kristiina Elstelä as Jennyanydots/Griddlebone.[194] A Swedish version of the musical opened in 1987 at the Chinateatern in Stockholm. The production was seen by 326,000 audiences before it transferred to the Scandinavium in Gothenburg two years later.[195]
Cats is based on T. S. Eliot's 1939 poetry book Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, with the songs in the musical consisting of Eliot's verse set to music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.[1] The musical is unusual in terms of its construction; along with Eliot's poems, music and dance are the main focus of the show at the expense of a traditional narrative structure.[2] Musicologists William Everett and Paul Laird described Cats as "combining elements of the revue and concept musical".[3] The plot centres on a tribe of cats called the Jellicles, as they come together at the annual Jellicle Ball to decide which one of them will ascend to the Heaviside Layer (their version of heaven) and be reborn into a new life.[4] The bulk of the musical consists of the different contenders being introduced, either by themselves or by other cats.[5]
The show was staged at the Det Ny Teater in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the 2002–2003 season.[201] This Danish production was translated by Adam Price and was one of the largest theatrical productions ever mounted in the country at the time with 100 performers, musicians and stagehands.[202] The first non-replica production of Cats was approved for a Polish production at the Teatr Muzyczny Roma in Warsaw.[203] Set in an abandoned film studio instead of a junkyard, the Polish version opened in January 2004 and closed in 2010.[204][205][206] The Gothenburg opera house staged a production with a Swedish-language script by Ingela Forsman; this version was reimagined to take place in an abandoned fairground and played from September 2006 to February 2007.[207] Other productions were also staged at the Divadlo Milenium in Prague from 2004 to 2005,[188] and a Norwegian revival at the Chat Noir in Oslo in 2009.[208] The first Italian-language production toured Italy in the 2009–2010 season.[209]

Kittens develop very quickly from about two weeks of age until their seventh week. Their coordination and strength improves. They play-fight with their litter-mates and begin to explore the world outside the nest or den. They learn to wash themselves and others as well as play hunting and stalking games, showing their inborn ability as predators. These innate skills are developed by the kittens' mother or other adult cats, who bring live prey to the nest. Later, the adult cats demonstrate hunting techniques for the kittens to emulate.[11] As they reach three to four weeks old, the kittens are gradually weaned and begin to eat solid food, with weaning usually complete by six to eight weeks.[12] Kittens generally begin to lose their baby teeth around three months of age, and have a complete set of adult teeth by nine months.[13] Kittens live primarily on solid food after weaning, but usually continue to suckle from time to time until separated from their mothers. Some mother cats will scatter their kittens as early as three months of age, while others continue to look after them until they approach sexual maturity.[14]

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.
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.
The original concept of a set of contrasting numbers, without a dramatic narrative, meant that each song needed to establish some sort of musical characterization independent of the others and develop a quick rapport with the audience. Such a rapid familiarity and identification of purpose can be achieved through pastiche. But it was only a musical starting point, for the songs in Cats move beyond the straightforward "Elvis" pastiche of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; they are less pointed, more the free workings within a range of chosen styles than direct copies of a specific performer or number. The audience responds to the musical differences, given an initial security provided by the familiarity of recognizable, underlying stylistic generalities.[75]
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]
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]

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]


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]

"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.[99] 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.[334] According to Sternfeld, it is "by some estimations the most successful song ever from a musical."[318]


Cats introduced a marketing strategy that set the template for subsequent megamusicals. Early advertisements for the musical did not feature traditional pull quotes (despite many positive reviews) or any of the cast, focusing instead on branding the show itself as the star. It did this by adopting — and then aggressively promoting — a single recognisable image (the cat's-eyes logo) as the face of the show.[321] The cat's-eyes logo was the first globally marketed logo in musical theatre history,[88] and was paired with a tagline ("now and forever") to create what The Daily Telegraph called "one of musical theatre's greatest posters".[322] Such branding emblems proved equally effective for later megamusicals, as seen with the waif Cosette for Les Misérables and the Phantom's mask for The Phantom of the Opera. This advertising method had the additional effect of diminishing the importance of critical reviews, popularising the so-called "critic-proof" status of megamusicals.[321]
^ 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.
In the original London production, Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer were characters in their own right and sang their eponymous song themselves as a singsong-style duet. When the show transferred to Broadway, the song was instead sung in the third-person, with Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer as puppets being magically controlled by Mr. Mistoffelees. Their number was also rewritten to be faster and more upbeat, alternating between vaudeville-style verses and a "manic patter" section. Eventually, the Broadway version of the song was rewritten to allow Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer to once again sing their own song as full characters.[388]
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]
House cats seem to have been extremely rare among the ancient Greeks and Romans;[267] Herodotus expressed astonishment at the domestic cats in Egypt, because he had only ever seen wildcats.[267] Even during later times, weasels were far more commonly kept as pets[267] and weasels, not cats, were seen as the ideal rodent-killers.[267] The usual ancient Greek word for "cat" was ailouros, meaning "thing with the waving tail",[266]:57[267] but this word could also be applied to any of the "various long-tailed carnivores kept for catching mice".[267] Cats are rarely mentioned in ancient Greek literature,[267] but Aristotle does remark in his History of Animals that "female cats are naturally lecherous."[266]:74[267] The Greeks later syncretized their own goddess Artemis with the Egyptian goddess Bast, adopting Bastet's associations with cats and ascribing them to Artemis.[266]:77–79 In Ovid's Metamorphoses, when the deities flee to Egypt and take animal forms, the goddess Diana (the Roman equivalent of Artemis) turns into a cat.[266]:79 Cats eventually displaced ferrets as the pest control of choice because they were more pleasant to have around the house and were more enthusiastic hunters of mice.[268] During the Middle Ages, many of Artemis's associations with cats were grafted onto the Virgin Mary.[268] Cats are often shown in icons of Annunciation and of the Holy Family[268] and, according to Italian folklore, on the same night that Mary gave birth to Jesus, a virgin cat in Bethlehem gave birth to a kitten.[268] Domestic cats were spread throughout much of the rest of the world during the Age of Discovery, as ships' cats were carried on sailing ships to control shipboard rodents and as good-luck charms.[265]:223
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]
^ 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.
Cats is based on T. S. Eliot's 1939 poetry book Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, with the songs in the musical consisting of Eliot's verse set to music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.[1] The musical is unusual in terms of its construction; along with Eliot's poems, music and dance are the main focus of the show at the expense of a traditional narrative structure.[2] Musicologists William Everett and Paul Laird described Cats as "combining elements of the revue and concept musical".[3] The plot centres on a tribe of cats called the Jellicles, as they come together at the annual Jellicle Ball to decide which one of them will ascend to the Heaviside Layer (their version of heaven) and be reborn into a new life.[4] The bulk of the musical consists of the different contenders being introduced, either by themselves or by other cats.[5]

^ Jump up to: a b Cameron-Beaumont, Charlotte; Lowe, Sarah E.; Bradshaw, John W. S. (2002). "Evidence Suggesting Pre-adaptation to Domestication Throughout the Small Felidae" (PDF). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 75 (3): 361–366. doi:10.1046/j.1095-8312.2002.00028.x. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
The musical's fantasy setting and disregard for verisimilitude allowed for groundbreaking experimentations in lighting and audio technology. The original London and Broadway productions featured David Hersey's pioneering use of automated lighting to produce kaleidoscopic landscapes and complicated optical effects. Hersey also used light in an "architectural manner", with fast-changing configurations to spotlight different performers in rapid succession. This dynamic shifting of the audience's perspective created an effect similar to that of fast cutting in film editing.[16] The original London production of Cats was also the first known instance in which an entire cast was individually outfitted with radio microphones.[327] The departure from shared ambient microphones meant that the show did not have to depend on the acoustics and architectural design of the theatrical venue, and enabled the sound designer to achieve cinematic levels of sound amplification and studio-quality audio in live theatre.[328] This practice transformed sound design and has since become the norm in live theatre.[327]

Perhaps the best known element of cats' hunting behavior, which is commonly misunderstood and often appalls cat owners because it looks like torture, is that cats often appear to "play" with prey by releasing it after capture. This behavior is due to an instinctive imperative to ensure that the prey is weak enough to be killed without endangering the cat.[162] This behavior is referred to in the idiom "cat-and-mouse game" or simply "cat and mouse".
Cats have seven cervical vertebrae (as do most mammals); 13 thoracic vertebrae (humans have 12); seven lumbar vertebrae (humans have five); three sacral vertebrae (as do most mammals, but humans have five); and a variable number of caudal vertebrae in the tail (humans have only vestigial caudal vertebrae, fused into an internal coccyx).[64]:11 The extra lumbar and thoracic vertebrae account for the cat's spinal mobility and flexibility. Attached to the spine are 13 ribs, the shoulder, and the pelvis.[64] :16 Unlike human arms, cat forelimbs are attached to the shoulder by free-floating clavicle bones which allow them to pass their body through any space into which they can fit their head.[65]
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