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^ 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.

^ Jump up to: a b Nutter, F. B.; Levine, J. F.; Stoskopf, M. K. (2004). "Reproductive capacity of free-roaming domestic cats and kitten survival rate" (PDF). Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 225 (9): 1399−1402. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.204.1281. doi:10.2460/javma.2004.225.1399. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 January 2019. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
Serious damage is rare, as the fights are usually short in duration, with the loser running away with little more than a few scratches to the face and ears. However, fights for mating rights are typically more severe and injuries may include deep puncture wounds and lacerations. Normally, serious injuries from fighting are limited to infections of scratches and bites, though these can occasionally kill cats if untreated. In addition, bites are probably the main route of transmission of feline immunodeficiency virus.[153] Sexually active males are usually involved in many fights during their lives, and often have decidedly battered faces with obvious scars and cuts to their ears and nose.[154]

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]

Cats can be infected or infested with viruses, bacteria, fungus, protozoans, arthropods or worms that can transmit diseases to humans.[262] In some cases, the cat exhibits no symptoms of the disease,[263] However, the same disease can then become evident in a human. The likelihood that a person will become diseased depends on the age and immune status of the person. Humans who have cats living in their home or in close association are more likely to become infected, however, those who do not keep cats as pets might also acquire infections from cat feces and parasites exiting the cat's body.[262][264] Some of the infections of most concern include salmonella, cat-scratch disease and toxoplasmosis.[263]
During a fall from a high place, a cat reflexively twists its body and rights itself to land on its feet using its acute sense of balance and flexibility. This reflex is known as the cat righting reflex.[96] An individual cat always rights itself in the same way during a fall, provided it has sufficient time to do so. The height required for this to occur is around 90 cm (3.0 ft).[97] Cats without a tail also have this reflex.[98] Several explanations have been proposed for this phenomenon since the late 19th century:
^ Kitchener, A. C.; Breitenmoser-Würsten, C.; Eizirik, E.; Gentry, A.; Werdelin, L.; Wilting, A.; Yamaguchi, N.; Abramov, A. V.; Christiansen, P.; Driscoll, C.; Duckworth, J. W.; Johnson, W.; Luo, S.-J.; Meijaard, E.; O’Donoghue, P.; Sanderson, J.; Seymour, K.; Bruford, M.; Groves, C.; Hoffmann, M.; Nowell, K.; Timmons, Z.; Tobe, S. (2017). "A revised taxonomy of the Felidae: The final report of the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group" (PDF). Cat News. Special Issue 11: 21. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 July 2018. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
Most breeds of cat have a noted fondness for settling in high places, or perching. In the wild, a higher place may serve as a concealed site from which to hunt; domestic cats may strike prey by pouncing from a perch such as a tree branch, as does a leopard.[94] Another possible explanation is that height gives the cat a better observation point, allowing it to survey its territory. A cat falling from heights of up to 3 meters can right itself and land on its paws.[95]
Within the first 2 days after birth, kittens acquire passive immunity from their mother’s milk.[30] Milk within the first few days of parturition is called colostrum, and contains high concentrations of immunoglobulins.[30] These include immunoglobulin A and immunoglobulin G which cross the intestinal barrier of the neonate.[29] The immunoglobulins and growth factors found in the colostrum begin to establish and strengthen the weak immune system of the offspring.[31] Kittens are able to chew solid food around 5–6 weeks after birth, and it is recommended that 30% of their diet should consist of solid food at this time.[32] The kitten remains on the mother’s milk until around eight weeks of age when weaning is complete and a diet of solid food is the primary food source.[23]
Cats is completely told through music with no dialogue in between the songs,[74] although there are occasions when the music accompanies spoken verse. Lloyd Webber's compositions employ an eclectic range of musical styles so as to magnify the characters' contrasting personalities.[4] For example, the rebellious Rum Tum Tugger is introduced with a rock song ("The Rum Tum Tugger"); the fallen Grizabella is accompanied by a dramatic operatic aria ("Grizabella: The Glamour Cat"); Old Deuteronomy makes his grand entrance to a lullaby-turned-anthem ("Old Deuteronomy"); and Gus' nostalgia for the past is reflected through an old-fashioned music hall number ("Gus: The Theatre Cat").[16] Many of the songs are pastiches of their respective genres, which Snelson attributes to the show's origins as a song cycle:

^ Zorro, the last cat of a colony at the Merrimack River in Newburyport, Massachusetts, died in 2009 at age 16. "Trap-Neuter-Return Effectively Stabilizes and Reduces Feral Cat Populations: Trap-Neuter-Return Humanely Stabilized and Reduced in Size the Merrimack River Colony" Archived 5 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Alley Cat Allies, accessed 18 August 2014; an earlier article in the LA Times was written when Zorro was the last remaining living cat: "Advocates report success with trap, neuter, return approach to stray cats" Archived 6 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Los Angeles Times, 29 September 2009.

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]


As well as being kept as pets, cats are also used in the international fur[238] and leather industries for making coats, hats, blankets, and stuffed toys;[239] and shoes, gloves, and musical instruments respectively[240] (about 24 cats are needed to make a cat-fur coat).[241] This use has been outlawed in the United States, Australia, and the European Union.[242] Cat pelts have been used for superstitious purposes as part of the practise of witchcraft,[243] and are still made into blankets in Switzerland as folk remedies believed to help rheumatism.[244] In the Western intellectual tradition, the idea of cats as everyday objects have served to illustrate problems of quantum mechanics in the Schrödinger's cat thought experiment.


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]

Thomas Deeny is a graphic designer who specializes in book layout and game design. His layout work can be found in roleplaying games like John Wick Presents' 7th Sea, Atlas Games' Unknown Armies and Over the Edge, MCDM Production's Strongholds and Followers, and Modiphius Entertainment’s Star Trek Adventures. He lives in a house in the middle of a spooky forest at the edge of civilization.
Preformed vitamin A is required in the cat for retinal and reproductive health. Vitamin A is considered to be a fat-soluble vitamin and is seen as essential in a cat's diet. Normally, the conversion of beta-carotenes into vitamin A occurs in the intestine (more specifically the mucosal layer) of species, however cats lack the ability to undergo this process.[121] Both the kidney and liver are contributors to the use of vitamin A in the body of the majority of species while the cats liver does not produce the enzyme Beta-carotene 15,15'-monooxygenase which converts the beta-carotene into retinol (vitamin A).[122] To summarize: cats do not have high levels of this enzyme leading to the cleavage and oxidation of carotenoids not taking place.[120]
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.[95] 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.[386] This new version was eventually incorporated into all other productions of Cats.[95]
Many cultures have negative superstitions about cats. An example would be the belief that a black cat "crossing one's path" leads to bad luck, or that cats are witches' familiars used to augment a witch's powers and skills. The killing of cats in Medieval Ypres, Belgium, is commemorated in the innocuous present-day Kattenstoet (cat parade).[276] In medieval France, cats would be burnt alive as a form of entertainment. According to Norman Davies, the assembled people "shrieked with laughter as the animals, howling with pain, were singed, roasted, and finally carbonized".[277]
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]
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]
Domestic kittens are commonly sent to new homes at six to eight weeks of age, but it has been suggested that being with their mother and litter-mates from six to twelve weeks is important for a kitten's social and behavioural development.[16] Usually, breeders and foster/rescue homes will not sell or adopt out a kitten that is younger than twelve weeks. In many jurisdictions, it is illegal to give away kittens younger than eight weeks of age.[18] Kittens generally reach sexual maturity at around seven months old. A cat reaches full "adulthood" around one year of age.[19]
Steven Spielberg's Amblimation had planned an animated adaptation of the musical in the 1990s. The film was to be set in war-torn London during World War II, but the project was abandoned with the studio's closure in 1997.[290] The following year, a direct-to-video film was released. The film was directed by David Mallet and was shot at the Adelphi Theatre in London. It starred Elaine Paige as Grizabella, John Mills as Gus, Ken Page as Old Deuteronomy, and Michael Gruber as Munkustrap.[291]
Within the first 2 days after birth, kittens acquire passive immunity from their mother’s milk.[30] Milk within the first few days of parturition is called colostrum, and contains high concentrations of immunoglobulins.[30] These include immunoglobulin A and immunoglobulin G which cross the intestinal barrier of the neonate.[29] The immunoglobulins and growth factors found in the colostrum begin to establish and strengthen the weak immune system of the offspring.[31] Kittens are able to chew solid food around 5–6 weeks after birth, and it is recommended that 30% of their diet should consist of solid food at this time.[32] The kitten remains on the mother’s milk until around eight weeks of age when weaning is complete and a diet of solid food is the primary food source.[23]
During a fall from a high place, a cat reflexively twists its body and rights itself to land on its feet using its acute sense of balance and flexibility. This reflex is known as the cat righting reflex.[96] An individual cat always rights itself in the same way during a fall, provided it has sufficient time to do so. The height required for this to occur is around 90 cm (3.0 ft).[97] Cats without a tail also have this reflex.[98] Several explanations have been proposed for this phenomenon since the late 19th century:
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