According to a myth in many cultures, cats have multiple lives. In many countries, they are believed to have nine lives, but in Italy, Germany, Greece, Brazil and some Spanish-speaking regions, they are said to have seven lives,[279][280] while in Turkish and Arabic traditions, the number of lives is six.[281] The myth is attributed to the natural suppleness and swiftness cats exhibit to escape life-threatening situations. Also lending credence to this myth is the fact that falling cats often land on their feet, using an instinctive righting reflex to twist their bodies around. Nonetheless, cats can still be injured or killed by a high fall.[282]
There are also several powerhouses who worked behind the scenes of the film. Academy Award-winning director Tom Hopper directed and wrote the screenplay, which is of course based on the stage production — which, in turn, was based on poet T. S. Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats." Hopper also directed best-picture winner "The King's Speech" and the musical-turned-movie "Les Misérables."
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]
Stage parodies of the musical have also been mounted in the West End and Off-Broadway. CAT – (THE PLAY!!!), a one-man show written by Jamie Beamish and Richard Hardwick, is a dark comedy about the fictitious life of Dave, a cat who was fired from the original London production of Cats on opening night. Starring Gerard McCarthy as Dave and with choreography by Arlene Phillips, the musical premiered at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival;[346] it performed at various regional venues before making its West End debut at the Ambassadors Theatre in April 2017.[347] Katdashians! Break the Musical!, a parody mashup of Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Cats by Bob and Tobly McSmith, premiered Off-Broadway at the Elektra Theatre in June 2016.[348] All the song parodies of Cats were later removed after accusations of copyright infringement from Lloyd Webber's representatives, who claimed the songs were being used "to parody another subject matter entirely".[349] Other stage shows that satirise Cats include Six Degrees of Separation,[344] Angels in America,[293] and The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!).[350]
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]
Feral cats are domestic cats that were born in or have reverted to a wild state. They are unfamiliar with and wary of humans and roam freely in urban and rural areas.[10] The numbers of feral cats is not known, but estimates of the US feral population range from 25 to 60 million.[10] Feral cats may live alone, but most are found in large colonies, which occupy a specific territory and are usually associated with a source of food.[206] Famous feral cat colonies are found in Rome around the Colosseum and Forum Romanum, with cats at some of these sites being fed and given medical attention by volunteers.[207]
As of 2017, the domestic cat was the second-most popular pet in the U.S. by number of pets owned, after freshwater fish,[17] with 95 million cats owned.[18][19] As of 2017, it was ranked the third-most popular pet in the UK, after fish and dogs, with around 8 million being owned.[20] The number of cats in the United Kingdom has nearly doubled since 1965, when the cat population was 4.1 million.[21]