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]
Cats are known for spending considerable amounts of time licking their coats to keep them clean.[147] The cat's tongue has backwards-facing spines about 500 μm long, which are called papillae. These contain keratin which makes them rigid[148] so the papillae act like a hairbrush. Some cats, particularly longhaired cats, occasionally regurgitate hairballs of fur that have collected in their stomachs from grooming. These clumps of fur are usually sausage-shaped and about 2–3 cm (0.8–1.2 in) long. Hairballs can be prevented with remedies that ease elimination of the hair through the gut, as well as regular grooming of the coat with a comb or stiff brush.[147]
After the show's closure on Broadway in 2000, Troika Entertainment obtained the touring rights for Cats and launched the show's first non-Equity national company.[119] After a try-out at Harrah's Atlantic City in July 2001, the production toured North America for 11 years from August 2001 to June 2012.[120][121][122] Performers in the non-Equity tour included Julie Garnyé as Jennyanydots (2001)[123] and Dee Roscioli as Grizabella (2002).[124][125] In January 2019, a new North American Equity tour based on the 2016 Broadway revival opened at the Providence Performing Arts Center in Rhode Island,[126] and is scheduled to run through June 2020.[127]
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]
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
One of Nunn's stipulations for agreeing to direct Practical Cats was that actress Judi Dench would be cast in the musical. Lloyd Webber was happy to oblige given her credentials and so Dench joined the company in the dual roles of Grizabella and Jennyanydots. Former Royal Ballet principal dancer Wayne Sleep was offered the part of Mr. Mistoffelees after Lloyd Webber and Mackintosh attended a performance by his dance troupe, one of the many dance showcases they saw in preparation for the musical. Casting for the other roles began in November 1980, with auditions held across the UK for dancers who could also sing and act. There was an initial disagreement over the casting of Nicholas as Rum Tum Tugger; Nunn had misgivings about the actor's laid-back attitude but eventually yielded to Lloyd Webber, Mackintosh and Lynne, all of whom were keen on Nicholas for the role. Sarah Brightman, who had already made a name for herself with the chart hit "I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper", arranged a private audition and was cast in an as-then undecided role. By December, the full cast had been assembled.[18]
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:
Cats have relatively few taste buds compared to humans (470 or so versus more than 9,000 on the human tongue).[91] Domestic and wild cats share a gene mutation that keeps their sweet taste buds from binding to sugary molecules, leaving them with no ability to taste sweetness.[92] Their taste buds instead respond to acids, amino acids like protein, and bitter tastes.[93] Cats also have a distinct temperature preference for their food, preferring food with a temperature around 38 °C (100 °F) which is similar to that of a fresh kill and routinely rejecting food presented cold or refrigerated (which would signal to the cat that the "prey" item is long dead and therefore possibly toxic or decomposing).[91]
^ Jump up to: a b Oliveira, R.; Godinho, R.; Randi, E.; Alves, P. C. (2008). "Hybridization Versus Conservation: Are Domestic Cats Threatening the Genetic Integrity of Wildcats (Felis silvestris silvestris) in Iberian Peninsula?". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences. 363 (1505): 2953–2961. doi:10.1098/rstb.2008.0052. PMC 2606743. PMID 18522917.
There have been numerous notable performers in the Japanese production, including Shintarō Sonooka as Munkustrap (original 1983 cast),[170] Kanji Ishimaru as Skimbleshanks (1992),[171] Masachika Ichimura, and Mayo Kawasaki.[172] Yoshiko Hattori (ja:服部良子) holds the production's record for the longest-appearing cast member; she played Jennyanydots in the original 1983 cast and remained in the role for 20 years with a final performance tally of 4,251.[172]
Lloyd Webber began composing the songs in late 1977 as a songwriting exercise, partly because Eliot's book had been a childhood favourite and partly to see if he could write music to predetermined lyrics. The compositions were performed privately for friends but Lloyd Webber had no further intentions for them at the time. After his song cycle Tell Me on a Sunday was televised by the BBC in early 1980, Lloyd Webber began to consider using his musicalizations of Eliot's poems in the same vein for a televised concert anthology.[8] He approached producer Cameron Mackintosh to discuss possible avenues for the songs.[9]
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.[321] The cat's-eyes logo was the first globally marketed logo in musical theatre history,[88] and was paired with a tagline ("now and forever") to create what The Daily Telegraph called "one of musical theatre's greatest posters".[322] 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.[321]

An event called the Jellicle Ball was referenced by Eliot in the poem "The Song of the Jellicles", while a cat version of heaven known as the Heaviside Layer was mentioned in one of his unpublished poems. Nunn expanded on these concepts by conceiving the Jellicle Ball as an annual ritual in which the cats vie to be chosen to ascend to the Heaviside Layer, thus giving the characters a reason to gather and sing about themselves in the musical. He also added the element of rebirth as a play on the idea that cats have nine lives.[1]


^ Jump up to: a b Oliveira, R.; Godinho, R.; Randi, E.; Alves, P. C. (2008). "Hybridization Versus Conservation: Are Domestic Cats Threatening the Genetic Integrity of Wildcats (Felis silvestris silvestris) in Iberian Peninsula?". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences. 363 (1505): 2953–2961. doi:10.1098/rstb.2008.0052. PMC 2606743. PMID 18522917.
Female cats are seasonally polyestrous, which means they may have many periods of heat over the course of a year, the season beginning in spring and ending in late autumn. Heat periods occur about every two weeks and last about 4 to 7 days.[178] Multiple males will be attracted to a female in heat. The males will fight over her, and the victor wins the right to mate. At first, the female rejects the male, but eventually the female allows the male to mate. The female utters a loud yowl as the male pulls out of her because a male cat's penis has a band of about 120–150 backwards-pointing penile spines, which are about 1 mm long; upon withdrawal of the penis, the spines rake the walls of the female's vagina, which acts to induce ovulation. This act also occurs to clear the vagina of other sperm in the context of a second (or more) mating, thus giving the later males a larger chance of conception.[179]
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]
^ Jump up to: a b Ottoni, C.; Van Neer, W.; De Cupere, B.; Daligault, J.; Guimaraes, S.; Peters, J.; Spassov, N.; Prendergast, M. E.; Boivin, N.; Morales-Muñiz, A.; Bălăşescu, A.; Becker, C.; Benecke, N.; Boroneant, A.; Buitenhuis, H.; Chahoud, J.; Crowther, A.; Llorente, L.; Manaseryan, N.; Monchot, H.; Onar, V.; Osypińska, M.; Putelat, O.; Quintana Morales, E. M.; Studer, J.; Wierer, U.; Decorte, R.; Grange, T.; Geigl, E. (2017). "The palaeogenetics of cat dispersal in the ancient world". Nature Ecology & Evolution. 1 (7): 0139. doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0139. ISSN 2397-334X.
The musical was scheduled to open on 30 April 1981, with previews starting on 22 April. Shortly before tickets went on sale in mid-February, Nunn revealed to the alarmed producers that he was struggling to write the script for the musical. Despite still having no established book or score, rehearsals began on 9 March 1981 in a church hall in Chiswick, London. The original music director, Chris Walker, became so frustrated with the unfinished score that he quit by lunchtime and was replaced by the film conductor Harry Rabinowitz.[20] The situation improved later that day when Lloyd Webber, Mackintosh and Nunn met with Stilgoe, a musician known for his ability to improvise lyrics on the spot, in hopes that Stilgoe could write an opening song for the musical. By the next evening, Stilgoe had produced a draft for "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats".[21] However, "Memory", an 11 o'clock number for Grizabella that Nunn insisted the show needed as its "emotional centre",[22] still had no lyrics at this point. Lloyd Webber's former writing partner Tim Rice was brought in to write a lyric for the song, but his version was rejected by Nunn for being too depressing. The lyrics for "Memory" were not completed by Nunn until well into the previews.[23]
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.[120] Following a six-month engagement in Blackpool that broke the theatre's box office record and was seen by around 450,000 people,[142] 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.[120] A second national tour launched in June 1993 at the Bristol Hippodrome,[143] featuring Rosemarie Ford as Grizabella, Robin Cousins as Munkustrap, Simon Rice as Mistoffelees and Tony Monopoly as Old Deuteronomy.[144] The tour closed at the Manchester Opera House in December 1995.[145]

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]
Outdoor cats are active both day and night, although they tend to be slightly more active at night.[126][127] The timing of cats' activity is quite flexible and varied, which means house cats may be more active in the morning and evening, as a response to greater human activity at these times.[128] Although they spend the majority of their time in the vicinity of their home, housecats can range many hundreds of meters from this central point, and are known to establish territories that vary considerably in size, in one study ranging from 7 to 28 hectares (17–69 acres).[127]
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:
Cats premiered in the West End at the New London Theatre on 11 May 1981. The musical was produced by Mackintosh and Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group, with direction by Nunn, choreography by Lynne (who also served as the associate director), set and costume design by Napier, lighting design by David Hersey, sound design by Abe Jacob and music direction by Harry Rabinowitz.[98] It played a total of 8,949 performances before closing on its 21st anniversary, 11 May 2002. The final performance was broadcast live on a large outdoor screen in Covent Garden for fans who could not acquire a ticket.[99] Cats held the record as London's longest-running musical from 1989, when it surpassed Jesus Christ Superstar,[100] until 8 October 2006, when it was surpassed by Les Misérables.

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]
Following its Broadway debut, Cats has been staged extensively across North America. The first US national tour, Cats National I, launched at the Shubert Theatre in Boston in December 1983 and closed in November 1987. The opening night cast included Laurie Beechman playing Grizabella and Charlotte d'Amboise playing Cassandra; later replacements included Victoria Clark and Jessica Molaskey both playing Jellylorum/Griddlebone. This production was a "slow tour" that had lengthy engagements lasting for several months in each of the nine cities it visited.[112][113] Cats National II, a separate sit-down production at the Los Angeles Shubert Theatre, ran from January 1985 to November 1986, and starred Kim Criswell and George de la Peña in the roles of Grizabella and Mistoffelees respectively.[114][115] A third US touring company, Cats National III, ran for two years from September 1986 to September 1988. Notable performers in the third tour included Jonathan Cerullo as Skimbleshanks (1986) and Bill Nolte as Old Deuteronomy (1987).[116]

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:
The musical also features an unusual amount of "group-description" numbers. According to musicologist Jessica Sternfeld, such numbers are usually relegated to the prologue and nothing more, as seen in "Another Op'nin', Another Show" from Kiss Me, Kate and "Tradition" from Fiddler on the Roof. Cats on the other hand features four Jellicle-defining songs: "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats", "The Naming of Cats", "The Jellicle Ball" and "The Ad-Dressing of Cats". These numbers allow the cats to celebrate their tribe and species as a whole, in between the ones that celebrate individual members.[80]
Cats hunt small prey, primarily birds and rodents,[155] and are often used as a form of pest control.[156][157] Domestic cats are a major predator of wildlife in the United States, killing an estimated 1.4 to 3.7 billion birds and 6.9 to 20.7 billion mammals annually.[158][159] The bulk of predation in the United States is done by 80 million feral and stray cats. Effective measures to reduce this population are elusive, meeting opposition from cat enthusiasts.[158][159] In the case of free-ranging pets, equipping cats with bells and not letting them out at night will reduce wildlife predation.[155]
Colleen Riley is a freelance editor, artist, and immigration paralegal. Her credits include The White Box, Beating the Story, Friendly Local Game Store, Meeples Together, Unknown Armies 3, Infinity, Laser Kittens, More Kittens, Black Mass, and Cavaliers of Mars: Witch-Queen of the Shadowed Citadel. She has also down a lot of work on the Technoir line Technoir, Mechnoir, Morenoir) and the Trinity Continuum (Æon Æxpansion, Distant Worlds, and In Media Res). She serves four (mostly) benevolent feline overlords in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her Twitter (@wordbunny) and Instagram (colleen_elizabeth_riley) are primarily cat pictures. 
Cats is a sung-through musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the 1939 poetry book Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot. It tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the night they make the "Jellicle choice", deciding which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life. The musical includes the well-known song "Memory" as sung by Grizabella.
Several natural behaviors and characteristics of wildcats may have preadapted them for domestication as pets. These traits include their small size, social nature, obvious body language, love of play and relatively high intelligence.[57]:12–17 Captive Leopardus cats may also display affectionate behavior toward humans, but have not been domesticated.[54]
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