The "Growltiger's Last Stand" sequence has been changed multiple times over the course of the show's history. In the original London production, the "last duet" for Growltiger and Griddlebone was a setting for an unpublished Eliot poem, "The Ballad of Billy M'Caw". For the original Broadway production, the Ballad was replaced with "In Una Tepida Notte", a parody of Italian opera. The mock aria was introduced so as to add more slapstick humour and its lyrics are based on the Italian translation of the "Growltiger's Last Stand" poem. This new version was eventually incorporated into all other productions of Cats.
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. Within such groups, one cat is usually dominant over the others. 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. These territories are marked by urine spraying, by rubbing objects at head height with secretions from facial glands, and by defecation. 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.
Dance plays a major role in Cats as the creative team had specifically set out to create "England's first dance musical". Before Cats, the industry-wide belief was that British dancers were inferior to their Broadway counterparts. The risky hiring of a British choreographer, Lynne, for a British dance musical was described by one historian as "a vivid and marvellous gesture of transatlantic defiance". Making Lynne's job more challenging was the fact that the music in Cats is unceasing and the majority of the cast remains onstage throughout nearly the entire show.
The London production ran for 21 years and 8,949 performances, while the Broadway production ran for 18 years and 7,485 performances, making Cats the longest-running musical in both theatre districts for a number of years. As of 2019, it remains the sixth-longest-running West End show and the fourth-longest-running Broadway show. Cats has since been revived in the West End twice and on Broadway once. It has also been translated into multiple languages and performed around the world many times. Long-running foreign productions include a 15-year run at the Operettenhaus in Hamburg that played over 6,100 performances, as well as an ongoing run in a purpose-built theatre in Japan that has played over 10,000 performances since it opened in 1983.
After Hamburg, the German production transferred to Stuttgart where it played from 2001 to 2002. Stage Entertainment took over the production mid-2002 and moved the show to Berlin (2002–2004) and later Düsseldorf (2004–2005), before touring other cities until 2006. Mehr-Entertainment launched a separate tour of Cats that ran from December 2010 to June 2013, performing in a travelling purpose-built tent theatre. Besides Germany, this company also made stops in cities in Luxembourg, Switzerland and Austria.
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. The cat's-eyes logo was the first globally marketed logo in musical theatre history, and was paired with a tagline ("now and forever") to create what The Daily Telegraph called "one of musical theatre's greatest posters". 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.
Spaying or neutering increases life expectancy: one study found neutered male cats live twice as long as intact males, while spayed female cats live 62% longer than intact females.:35 Having a cat neutered confers health benefits, because castrated males cannot develop testicular cancer, spayed females cannot develop uterine or ovarian cancer, and both have a reduced risk of mammary cancer.
Just kitten around Third baseman Eduardo Escobar is not a cat person, and teammates David Peralta, Wilmer Flores and Ildemaro Vargas love that about him. — Jenna Ortiz, azcentral, "Diamondbacks starter Luke Weaver's latest MRI reveals good news," 24 June 2019 Kitten in car wheel: Iverson St., 2500 block, Temple Hills, June 3. — Jillian S. Jarrett, Washington Post, "Prince George’s County Animal Watch," 20 June 2017 Things start cooking when Keanu disappears, forcing Rell and Clarence to play detective while chasing leads and kitten tail. — Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "With ‘Keanu,’ Key & Peele Break Into Feature Films — Kittens in Tow APRIL 20, 2016," 28 Apr. 2016
Throughout her illness, she was consoled by the couples' rescue kitten, Peter. — Sarah Madaus, Town & Country, "Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy are Teaming Up on a Louis Wain Biopic," 25 July 2019 Hayward – who was named principal dancer in 2016 to the British Royal Ballet – plays Victoria, the shy white kitten, in director Tom Hooper’s adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical. — Kimberly Wilson, Essence, "Here’s Everything We Know About Francesca Hayward, The Black Female Lead In ‘Cats’," 19 July 2019 Kerry McKeel with the Harris County Animal Shelter held Pumpkin the kitten, wrapped in a towel, as Spring Fire Department’s apparatus operator, Michael Alaniz, gently held the mask to Pumpkin’s tiny snoot. — Melanie Feuk, Houston Chronicle, "Pet oxygen masks donated to first response agencies in northwest Harris County," 19 July 2019 Hayward plays Victoria, the shy white kitten, in director Tom Hooper’s adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical. — Los Angeles Times, "Who is Francesca Hayward? The Royal Ballet dancer in the ‘Cats’ trailer," 18 July 2019 The Arizona Humane Society educates children about animal advocacy while working with animal professionals, kittens, dogs and rabbits. — Abbagail Leon, azcentral, "Phoenix summer camp turns kids into responsible animal caregivers, leaders," 22 June 2019 The pets, two dogs adopted from rescue shelters and a cat found outside the West Regional Library in Plantation as a kitten, were not burned. — Rafael Olmeda, sun-sentinel.com, "Broward Public Defender loses home, three pets in Plantation fire," 17 June 2019 In fact, living with a cute kitten—or two or three or four—can actually reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases. — Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "According to Research, Being a Cat Lady is Actually Good For You," 15 May 2019 These aren’t strictly Schrödinger’s kittens, said Carsten Klempt of Leibniz University Hannover in Germany. — Quanta Magazine, "Real-Life Schrödinger’s Cats Probe the Boundary of the Quantum World," 25 June 2018
The original Viennese cast included Ute Lemper who played Bombalurina, Steve Barton who played Munkustrap, and Robert Montano who played Pouncival. Pia Douwes was also a member of the cast from 1987 to 1989, covering several different characters including Grizabella. The Vienna production also performed limited runs at the Komische Oper Berlin in East Germany in 1987, and at the Moscow Operetta Theatre in the Soviet Union in 1988.
The earliest known indication for a tamed African wildcat was excavated close by a human grave in Shillourokambos, southern Cyprus, dating to about 9,200 to 9,500 years before present. As there is no evidence of native mammalian fauna on Cyprus, the inhabitants of this Neolithic village most likely brought the cat and other wild mammals to the island from the Middle Eastern mainland. Scientists therefore assume that African wildcats were attracted to early human settlements in the Fertile Crescent by rodents, in particular the house mouse (Mus musculus), and were tamed by Neolithic farmers. This commensal relationship between early farmers and tamed cats lasted thousands of years. As agricultural practices spread, so did tame and domesticated cats. Wildcats of Egypt contributed to the maternal gene pool of the domestic cat at a later time. The earliest known evidence for the occurrence of the domestic cat in Greece dates to around 1200 BC. Greek, Phoenician, Carthaginian and Etruscan traders introduced domestic cats to southern Europe. By the 5th century BC, it was a familiar animal around settlements in Magna Graecia and Etruria. Domesticated cats were introduced to Corsica and Sardinia during the Roman Empire before the beginning of the 1st millennium. The Egyptian domestic cat lineage is evidenced in a Baltic Sea port in northern Germany by the end of the Roman Empire in the 5th century.