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.
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.
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!
The musical has also been translated and staged nationally in Asia. From September 2008 to January 2009, a Korean-language production performed at the Charlotte Theatre in Seoul, with Shin Youngsook and Ock Joo-hyun alternating as Grizabella, Kim Jin-woo and Daesung alternating as Rum Tum Tugger, and Kim Bo-kyung as Rumpleteazer. This production was revived and toured South Korea from 2011 to 2012, with Insooni and Park Hae-mi taking turns to portray Grizabella. The first Mandarin-language production toured various cities in China in 2012.
Cats conserve heat by reducing the flow of blood to their skin and lose heat by evaporation through their mouths. Cats have minimal ability to sweat, with glands located primarily in their paw pads, and pant for heat relief only at very high temperatures (but may also pant when stressed). A cat's body temperature does not vary throughout the day; this is part of cats' general lack of circadian rhythms and may reflect their tendency to be active both during the day and at night.:1
Despite mixed reviews when Cats opened in New York in 1982, critics agreed that it was innovative and visually spectacular in ways that Broadway had never seen before. The musical became a cultural phenomenon and has had a profound influence on the medium. Cats established musical theatre as a global commodity, marking the beginning of a new era in the industry that is characterised by huge global stakes for potentially even huger global profits. It led the shift in the Broadway market towards big-budget blockbusters and shows that appeal to families and tourists, which in turn left smaller productions struggling to compete. Cats also ushered in a "golden age of British musicals" which saw West End exports dominate the industry for nearly two decades. Musical theatre historian Vagelis Siropoulos asserted that its "seminal Broadway opening" was "comparable only to Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! thirty nine years ago."
The show was staged at the Det Ny Teater in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the 2002–2003 season. 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. The first non-replica production of Cats was approved for a Polish production at the Teatr Muzyczny Roma in Warsaw. Set in an abandoned film studio instead of a junkyard, the Polish version opened in January 2004 and closed in 2010. 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. Other productions were also staged at the Divadlo Milenium in Prague from 2004 to 2005, and a Norwegian revival at the Chat Noir in Oslo in 2009. The first Italian-language production toured Italy in the 2009–2010 season.
House cats seem to have been extremely rare among the ancient Greeks and Romans; Herodotus expressed astonishment at the domestic cats in Egypt, because he had only ever seen wildcats. Even during later times, weasels were far more commonly kept as pets and weasels, not cats, were seen as the ideal rodent-killers. The usual ancient Greek word for "cat" was ailouros, meaning "thing with the waving tail",:57 but this word could also be applied to any of the "various long-tailed carnivores kept for catching mice". Cats are rarely mentioned in ancient Greek literature, but Aristotle does remark in his History of Animals that "female cats are naturally lecherous.":74 The Greeks later syncretized their own goddess Artemis with the Egyptian goddess Bast, adopting Bastet's associations with cats and ascribing them to Artemis.: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.: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. During the Middle Ages, many of Artemis's associations with cats were grafted onto the Virgin Mary. Cats are often shown in icons of Annunciation and of the Holy Family 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. 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.:223
Paul Dean is a writer. In addition to co-founding the board games site/show Shut Up & Sit Down and co-creating the latest edition of the Paranoia RPG, Paul has also contributed to or been featured in publications and outlets as diverse as The Telegraph, Eurogamer, IGN, How We Get to Next, The New Statesmen, The Guardian, RockPaperShotgun, and BBC Radio. (He’s even got a Cadbury’s Children’s Poetry Collection.) Later this year his scenario “We’ll Temporarily Have Paris” will appear in the Feng Shui 2 adventure anthology Have Fist, Will Travel.
The Japanese-language production of Cats by the Shiki Theatre Company has been playing continuously since November 1983. This production is a "slow tour" with engagements lasting for several years in each of the nine cities it has visited. The musical premiered in a purpose-built tent theatre in Shinjuku, Tokyo, with a Japanese script translated by Keita Asari, the founder of the Shiki Theatre Company. There had never been a long-running stage production in Japan prior to Cats, and the huge success of this production led to what the local media termed a "musical boom" in the 1980s, with other Broadway musicals quickly following suit and opening in Japan.
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. 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. 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. 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.
About 250 heritable genetic disorders have been identified in cats, many similar to human inborn errors. The high level of similarity among the metabolism of mammals allows many of these feline diseases to be diagnosed using genetic tests that were originally developed for use in humans, as well as the use of cats as animal models in the study of the human diseases.
Cats are popular as a subject of art and photography, Walter Chandoha made his career photographing cats after his 1949 images of Loco, an especially charming stray taken in, were published around the world. He is reported to have photographed 90,000 cats during his career and maintained an archive of 225,000 images that he drew from for publications during his lifetime.
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. 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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
The first UK and Ireland tour opened in May 1989 at the Opera House Theatre in Blackpool. The cast for this tour included Marti Webb as Grizabella, Rosemarie Ford as Bombalurina and John Partridge as Alonzo. Following a six-month engagement in Blackpool that broke the theatre's box office record and was seen by around 450,000 people, the production moved to the Edinburgh Playhouse for three months, before closing in May 1990 after another two months at the Point Theatre in Dublin. A second national tour launched in June 1993 at the Bristol Hippodrome, featuring Rosemarie Ford as Grizabella, Robin Cousins as Munkustrap, Simon Rice as Mistoffelees and Tony Monopoly as Old Deuteronomy. The tour closed at the Manchester Opera House in December 1995.
Most of the lyrics in Cats were taken from Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats with very minor alterations. Supplementary verses from unpublished poems by Eliot were adapted for "Grizabella: The Glamour Cat" and "Journey to the Heaviside Layer", while the song "The Moments of Happiness" was taken from a passage in Eliot's The Dry Salvages. Cats director Trevor Nunn and lyricist Richard Stilgoe provided the remaining lyrics, namely for the opening number "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats" and the most famous song from the musical "Memory". The former was written by Nunn and Stilgoe and was modelled after an unpublished poem by Eliot titled "Pollicle Dogs and Jellicle Cats", while the latter was written by Nunn based on another Eliot poem titled "Rhapsody on a Windy Night".
Female domestic cats can have kittens from spring to late autumn, with litter sizes ranging from two to five kittens. Domestic cats can be bred and shown as registered pedigreed cats, a hobby known as cat fancy. Failure to control the breeding of pet cats by spaying and neutering, as well as abandonment of pets, has resulted in large numbers of feral cats worldwide, contributing to the extinction of entire bird species, and evoking population control.