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.
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. 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.
Jason Bradley Thompson's illustrations and maps have appeared in Dungeons & Dragons, Call of Cthulhu and many other roleplaying games. He has also worked as a manga editor for Viz, co-designer of the tabletop games Cartooner and Mangaka, a DMsGuild content creator, a comics artist (HP Lovecraft's Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath), and a story artist on Minions: The Rise of Gru. His map of Hot Springs Island is nominated for a 2019 ENnie Award for Best Cartography. He is currently working on a Dreamland tabletop RPG. (Click here to see a full-size version of his previous cartography work as shown below.)
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. 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.
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.
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".
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." 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.
Reactions to the original Broadway production were mixed. In his review for The New York Times, Frank Rich noted that the main draw of the show was that it "transports the audience into a complete fantasy world that could only exist in the theater". He attributed much of this "wondrous spectacle" to Nunn's direction, Napier's set and costume designs, as well as the talented cast. Rich found many of Lloyd Webber's songs to be "cleverly and appropriately" pastiche, and was impressed with how Lynne and Nunn distinguished each character through personalised movement. However, he panned Lynne's choreography and felt that the musical failed in its vague attempt to tell a story. Overall, he wished that the show had more "feeling to go with its most inventive stagecraft." Clive Barnes of the New York Post concluded his review saying: "Its importance lies in its wholeheartedness. It is a statement of musical theater that cannot be ignored, should prove controversial and will never be forgotten."
Cats has been referenced and satirised many times on screen; from the films Six Degrees of Separation and Team America: World Police, to the sketch comedy Saturday Night Live, and animated series like Family Guy, The Simpsons and BoJack Horseman, as well as live action comedies including The Golden Girls, Caroline in the City, Glee and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. An episode of the musical television series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, titled "I Need Some Balance", parodied Cats by having all the songs sung by anthropomorphic cats who "introduce [themselves] over '80s Broadway beats".
As well as being kept as pets, cats are also used in the international fur and leather industries for making coats, hats, blankets, and stuffed toys; and shoes, gloves, and musical instruments respectively (about 24 cats are needed to make a cat-fur coat). This use has been outlawed in the United States, Australia, and the European Union. Cat pelts have been used for superstitious purposes as part of the practise of witchcraft, and are still made into blankets in Switzerland as folk remedies believed to help rheumatism. 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.
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. 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. Kittens generally reach sexual maturity at around seven months old. A cat reaches full "adulthood" around one year of age.
Nunn was also adamant that the orchestra for Cats be hidden backstage — out of the audience's view — so as not to break the immersion. Adding to the experience, the show usually includes a lot of audience interaction, such as during the overture when the cast don flashing "green eyes" as they make their way through the audience in the darkened theatre. In the original Broadway production, catwalks were built to connect the stage to the boxes and balcony so as to give the cast access to the entire auditorium during the show.
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^ 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.
Some of the same factors that have promoted adaptive radiation of island avifauna over evolutionary time appear to promote vulnerability to non-native species in modern time. The susceptibility of many island birds is undoubtedly due to evolution in the absence of mainland predators, competitors, diseases, and parasites, in addition to lower reproductive rates and extended incubation periods. The loss of flight, or reduced flying ability is also characteristic of many island endemics. These biological aspects have increased vulnerability to extinction in the presence of introduced species, such as the domestic cat. Equally, behavioral traits exhibited by island species, such as "predatory naivety" and ground-nesting, have also contributed to their susceptibility.
Influenced by the show's success in Vienna, a German production by Stella Entertainment premiered in April 1986 at the newly-renovated Operettenhaus in Hamburg. It closed in January 2001 after 15 years, having played over 6,100 performances to 6.2 million audiences. Cats was the first stage production in the country to be mounted without any public funding and was also the first to run for multiple years; its success established the medium as a profitable venture in Germany. The musical was also a huge boost for tourism in Hamburg, particularly the subdivision of St. Pauli where it accounted for 30% of all tourists. The number of overnight visitors to the city increased by over one million per year within the first five years of the show's premiere.
An alternative word is English puss (extended as pussy and pussycat). Attested only from the 16th century, it may have been introduced from Dutch poes or from Low German puuskatte, related to Swedish kattepus, or Norwegian pus, pusekatt. Similar forms exist in Lithuanian puižė and Irish puisín or puiscín. The etymology of this word is unknown, but it may have simply arisen from a sound used to attract a cat.