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 Eliot's widow and literary executor, Valerie, was in attendance and brought along various unpublished cat-themed poems by Eliot.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.[10] He explained:
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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,[86] which they use to communicate through urine spraying and marking with scent glands.[87] 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.[88] About 70–80% of cats are affected by nepetalactone.[89] 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.[90]
Many of the ensemble characters were created by the original cast through extensive improvisation sessions held during the rehearsal process. Said Nunn: "[O]n day one of rehearsals what we had was 15 poems set to music and five weeks later we had a show with characters, relationships and stories running from beginning to end."[24][25] The production faced a last minute mishap when Dench snapped her Achilles tendon during rehearsals for "The Old Gumbie Cat" and had to pull out one week before the first preview. Her understudy Myra Sands replaced her as Jennyanydots, while Elaine Paige agreed to take over the role of Grizabella. Opening night was pushed back to 11 May, but Mackintosh refused to postpone the previews as he wanted to dispel the industry rumours that the production was an impending debacle.[26]
In the 1980s, the success of local productions of Cats in Tokyo,[161] Sydney,[330] Vienna, Hamburg,[173] and Toronto were turning points that established these cities (and their respective countries) as major commercial markets in the global theatrical circuit.[331] The musical was also a boon for the Broadway touring industry. In 1997, The New York Times credited the regional and touring productions of Cats with "almost single-handedly reviv[ing] the sagging road business".[332] Cats revolutionised the touring business by introducing the now commonplace practice of extended touring engagements that can last several weeks or months in a single city, as opposed to the typical one-week or ten-day tour stop. Mackintosh's insistence that all touring productions of Cats replicate the Broadway production also resulted in the expansion and upgrading of regional theatre venues to accommodate the musical's demanding logistical requirements, as local theatre owners did not want to miss out on the opportunity to host the lucrative show.[333]

Under the direction of Peter Weck, the first German-language production of Cats opened in September 1983 at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna, Austria. In 1988, the show transferred to the newly-renovated Ronacher Theatre where it ran for another two years before closing on its seventh anniversary in September 1990.[112][173] The Vienna production played a total of 2,040 performances to more than 2.3 million audiences.[174]
Magical Kitties Save the Day is a roleplaying game designed for all-ages. Older players — whether they’re parents, babysitters, teachers, or older siblings — can be the Game Master for kids as young as six-years-old and everyone else who loves kitties. If you’ve been looking for a way to introduce your friends and family to roleplaying games, Magical Kitties is the perfect game to do it!
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]
Cats is considered the quintessential megamusical, because it reconceived, like no other show before, theatrical space as an immense affective encompasser, that transforms the viewing experience into a hypercharged thrill-ride and the spectator into an explorer of new and challenging aural and visual sensations. Its unprecedented success paved the way for even bolder hyperspatial configurations, made the set designer a proper environment builder and raised light and sound design into the status of art in their own right. It also paved the way for the constant revolutionization of stage technology.[320]
In isolated landmasses, such as Australasia, there are often no other native, medium-sized quadrupedal predators (including other feline species); this tends to exacerbate the impact of feral cats on small native animals.[214] Native species such as the New Zealand kakapo and the Australian bettong, for example, tend to be more ecologically vulnerable and behaviorally "naive", when faced with predation by cats.[215] Feral cats have had a major impact on these native species and have played a leading role in the endangerment and extinction of many animals.[216]
Similar to the original London staging, the set of the 1,200-capacity CATS Theatre is built on a revolving stage floor such that during the overture, the stage and sections of the stalls revolve approximately 180 degrees into place.[160][166] In 1998, the Japanese production underwent major revisions to the choreography, staging and costume designs.[167] Following further revisions in 2018,[168] the current incarnation features 25 named cats, including both Jemima and Sillabub (who have evolved into two separate characters), and an original character named Gilbert.[169]
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]
According to a myth in many cultures, cats have multiple lives. In many countries, they are believed to have nine lives, but in Italy, Germany, Greece, Brazil and some Spanish-speaking regions, they are said to have seven lives,[279][280] while in Turkish and Arabic traditions, the number of lives is six.[281] The myth is attributed to the natural suppleness and swiftness cats exhibit to escape life-threatening situations. Also lending credence to this myth is the fact that falling cats often land on their feet, using an instinctive righting reflex to twist their bodies around. Nonetheless, cats can still be injured or killed by a high fall.[282]
Then, as Rum Tum Tugger's song fades, a shabby old grey cat stumbles out wanting to be reconciled; it is Grizabella. All the cats back away from her in fear and disgust and explain her unfortunate state ("Grizabella: The Glamour Cat"). Grizabella leaves and the music changes to a cheerful upbeat number as Bustopher Jones, a fat cat in "a coat of fastidious black", is brought to the stage ("Bustopher Jones: The Cat About Town"). Bustopher Jones is among the elite of the cats, and visits prestigious gentlemen's clubs. Suddenly, a loud crash startles the tribe and the cats run offstage in fright. Hushed giggling sounds signal the entrance of Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer, a pair of near-identical cats. They are mischievous petty burglars who enjoy causing trouble around their human neighbourhood ("Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer"). After they finish, they are caught off-guard and confronted by the rest of the cats.

Cats, like all mammals, need to get linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid, from their diet. Most mammals can convert linoleic acid to arachidonic acid, as well as the omega 3 fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) through the activity of enzymes, but this process is very limited in cats.[121] The Δ6-desaturase enzyme eventually converts linoleic acid, which is in its salt form linoleate, to arachidonate (salt form of arachidonic acid) in the liver, but this enzyme has very little activity in cats.[121] This means that arachidonic acid is an essential fatty acid for cats as they lack the ability to create required amounts of linoleic acid. Deficiency of arachidonic acid in cats is related to problems in growth, can cause injury and inflammation to skin (e.g. around the mouth) decreased platelet aggregation, fatty liver, increase in birth defects of kittens whose queens were deficient during pregnancy, and reproductive failure in queens.[121] Arachidonic acid can also be metabolized to eicosanoids that create inflammatory responses which are needed to stimulate proper growth and repair mechanisms in the cat.[125]

In isolated landmasses, such as Australasia, there are often no other native, medium-sized quadrupedal predators (including other feline species); this tends to exacerbate the impact of feral cats on small native animals.[214] Native species such as the New Zealand kakapo and the Australian bettong, for example, tend to be more ecologically vulnerable and behaviorally "naive", when faced with predation by cats.[215] Feral cats have had a major impact on these native species and have played a leading role in the endangerment and extinction of many animals.[216]
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.[203] 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.[56]
In ancient Egypt, cats were sacred animals, with the goddess Bast often depicted in cat form, sometimes taking on the war-like aspect of a lioness.[265]:220 Killing a cat was absolutely forbidden[4] and the Greek historian Herodotus reports that, whenever a household cat died, the entire family would mourn and shave their eyebrows.[4] Families took their dead cats to the sacred city of Bubastis,[4] where they were embalmed and buried in sacred repositories.[4] The earliest unmistakable evidence of the Greeks having domestic cats comes from two coins from Magna Graecia dating to the mid-fifth century BC showing Iokastos and Phalanthos, the legendary founders of Rhegion and Taras respectively, playing with their pet cats.[266]:57–58[267]
Purring may have developed as an evolutionary advantage as a signalling mechanism of reassurance between mother cats and nursing kittens. Post-nursing cats often purr as a sign of contentment: when being petted, becoming relaxed,[143][144] or eating. The mechanism by which cats purr is elusive. The cat has no unique anatomical feature that is clearly responsible for the sound.[145] It was until recent times,[when?] believed that only the cats of the Felis genus could purr. However, felids of the genus Panthera (tiger, lion, jaguar, and leopard) also produce non-continuous sounds, called chuffs, similar to purring, but only when exhaling.[146]

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]
Additionally, Cats was the first Broadway and West End show to capitalise on merchandising as a major revenue stream. Stalls were set up in the theatre lobbies to sell souvenirs ranging from toys and watches to coffee mugs, all of which were emblazoned with the cat's-eyes logo. The official Cats t-shirt became the second-best-selling t-shirt in the world in the 1980s, second only to the Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt. Merchandising has since become an important source of income for the industry.[313][323]
The development of Cats was also plagued by financial troubles. Mackintosh struggled to raise the £450,000 ($1.16 million[27]) needed to stage the musical in the West End as major investors were sceptical of the show's premise and refused to back it. Lloyd Webber personally underwrote the musical and took out a second mortgage on his house for the down payment of the theatre. He later recalled that if Cats had been a commercial failure, it would have left him in financial ruin.[28] The remaining capital was eventually financed by small investments procured from 220 individuals through newspaper advertisements.[1][12] After the musical became a massive hit, the rate of return for these investors was estimated to have exceeded 3,500%.[29]
With a third crash and an evil laugh, the "most wanted" cat Macavity appears. He is the so-called "Napoleon of Crime" who always manages to evade the authorities. Macavity's henchmen capture Old Deuteronomy and take off with the patriarch in tow. As Munkustrap and his troops give chase, Demeter and Bombalurina explain what they know about Macavity ("Macavity: The Mystery Cat"). When they are finished, Macavity returns disguised as Old Deuteronomy, but his cover is blown by Demeter and he ends up in a fight with Munkustrap and Alonzo. Macavity holds his own for a time, but as the rest of the tribe begin to gang up and surround him, he shorts out the stage lights and escapes in the resulting confusion.
Cats can synthesize niacin, but their breakdown exceeds the rate that it can be synthesized and thus, have a higher need for it, which can be fulfilled through an animal-based diet.[24] Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) is required in increased amounts seeing as it is needed to produce amino acids.[24] To continue, vitamin B12 is an AAFCO-recommended vitamin essential in the metabolism of carbohydrates and protein and maintains a healthy nervous system, healthy mucous membranes, healthy muscle and heart function and in general, promotes normal growth and development.[42] Choline is also a AAFCO recommended ingredient for kittens, which is important for neurotransmission in the brain and as a component of membrane phospholipids.[24] Biotin is another AAFCO-recommended vitamin to support thyroid and adrenal glands and the reproductive and nervous systems.[24] Kittens also require riboflavin (vitamin B2) for heart health, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), and folacin.[42]
Although wildcats are solitary, the social behavior of domestic cats is much more variable and ranges from widely dispersed individuals to feral cat colonies that gather around a food source, based on groups of co-operating females.[130][131] Within such groups, one cat is usually dominant over the others.[132] Each cat in a colony holds a distinct territory, with sexually active males having the largest territories, which are about 10 times larger than those of female cats and may overlap with several females' territories.[87] These territories are marked by urine spraying, by rubbing objects at head height with secretions from facial glands, and by defecation.[87] Between these territories are neutral areas where cats watch and greet one another without territorial conflicts. Outside these neutral areas, territory holders usually chase away stranger cats, at first by staring, hissing, and growling and, if that does not work, by short but noisy and violent attacks. Despite some cats cohabiting in colonies, they do not have a social survival strategy, or a pack mentality and always hunt alone.[133]
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

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]
Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats is a collection of light poetry about cats that Eliot had originally written for his godchildren in the 1930s. Due to the rhythmic nature of Eliot's work, there had been previous attempts before Cats at setting his poems to music, though none of these attempts had been met with much critical or commercial success.[6] Musicologist John Snelson wrote of the poems:
One of the first things you should do with your new cat, if not the very first, is take him in for an exam. This trip is almost as important for the owner as it is the kitten, because it not only tests for health issues like birth defects, parasites, and feline leukemia, but it allows you to ask those all important questions including advice on litterbox training your kitten.
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]
Here in eight lines Eliot was describing an intensely recognizable character with powerful human resonances, while introducing the themes of mortality, and the past, which occur repeatedly in the major poems. We decided that if Eliot had thought of being serious, touching, almost tragic in his presentation of a feline character, then we had to be doing a show which could contain that material, and the implications of it. Furthermore, we would have to achieve the sense of progression through themes more than incidents.[17]
A cat show is a judged event in which the owners of cats compete to win titles in various cat registering organizations by entering their cats to be judged after a breed standard.[255][256] Both pedigreed and companion (or moggy) cats are admissible, although the rules differ from organization to organization. Cats are compared to a breed standard,[257] and the owners of those judged to be closest to it are awarded a prize. Moggies are judged based on their temperament. Often, at the end of the year, all of the points accrued at various shows are added up and more national and regional titles are awarded.
The original Viennese cast included Ute Lemper who played Bombalurina, Steve Barton who played Munkustrap, and Robert Montano who played Pouncival.[112] Pia Douwes was also a member of the cast from 1987 to 1989, covering several different characters including Grizabella.[175] The Vienna production also performed limited runs at the Komische Oper Berlin in East Germany in 1987,[176] and at the Moscow Operetta Theatre in the Soviet Union in 1988.[177]
Free-fed feral cats and house cats tend to consume many small meals in a single day, although the frequency and size of meals varies between individuals.[133] Cats use two hunting strategies, either stalking prey actively, or waiting in ambush until an animal comes close enough to be captured.[160] Although it is not certain, the strategy used may depend on the prey species in the area, with cats waiting in ambush outside burrows, but tending to actively stalk birds.[161]:153
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.
Cats have excellent night vision and can see at only one-sixth the light level required for human vision.[66]: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.[75] Another adaptation to dim light is the large pupils of cats' eyes. Unlike some big cats, such as tigers, domestic cats have slit pupils.[76] 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.[76] At low light levels, a cat's pupils will expand to cover most of the exposed surface of its eyes.[77] 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.[78] 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.[79]
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