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."[24][25] 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.[26]
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]

Purring may have developed as an evolutionary advantage as a signalling mechanism of reassurance between mother cats and nursing kittens. Post-nursing cats often purr as a sign of contentment: when being petted, becoming relaxed,[143][144] or eating. The mechanism by which cats purr is elusive. The cat has no unique anatomical feature that is clearly responsible for the sound.[145] It was until recent times,[when?] believed that only the cats of the Felis genus could purr. However, felids of the genus Panthera (tiger, lion, jaguar, and leopard) also produce non-continuous sounds, called chuffs, similar to purring, but only when exhaling.[146]
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]
Napier also designed the costumes, combining cat and human features based on "hints" given in Eliot's poems, while ensuring that they did not impede the dancers' movements.[93] The costumes generally consist of a unitard, a wig that is fashioned to suggest the presence of feline ears, patches resembling body fur, and arm and leg warmers to give the performers' hands and feet a more paw-like appearance. As with the contrasting music and dance styles, the costumes and make-up are used to bring out each character's distinct personality. For example, the costume for the flirtatious Bombalurina is designed to accentuate her sexiness, while the markings on the costume for Jemima — the youngest of the tribe — resemble crayon scribbles.[24] Every character's design motif is custom-painted by hand onto a plain unitard to line up with their performer's individual body. In order to reproduce the "hand-drawn aesthetic" of Napier's original design sketches, costume painters in the original Broadway production used squeeze bottles to apply the paint. Due to the amount of dancing in Cats, most of the costume did not last longer than a few months.[96]
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:
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]
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]
Part of the kitten's immune system is the mucosal immune system, which is within the gastrointestinal tract. The mucosal immune system is largely responsible for coordinating proper immune responses by tolerating innocuous antigens and attacking foreign pathogens.[27] In order to optimize kitten health and increase chances of survival, it is important to optimize the link between the gut-associated lymphoid tissue and the microbiota of the gastrointestinal tract. Lasting health and longevity can be accomplished partly through proper nutrition[28] and establishing a healthy gut from birth through utilizing colostrum.[29]
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."[24][25] 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.[26]
The musical has also been translated and staged nationally in Asia. From September 2008 to January 2009, a Korean-language production performed at the Charlotte Theatre in Seoul, with Shin Youngsook and Ock Joo-hyun alternating as Grizabella, Kim Jin-woo and Daesung alternating as Rum Tum Tugger, and Kim Bo-kyung as Rumpleteazer.[268] This production was revived and toured South Korea from 2011 to 2012, with Insooni and Park Hae-mi taking turns to portray Grizabella.[269] The first Mandarin-language production toured various cities in China in 2012.[270]

The cat (Felis catus) is a small carnivorous mammal.[1][2] It is the only domesticated species in the family Felidae and often referred to as the domestic cat to distinguish it from wild members of the family.[4] The cat is either a house cat or a farm cat, which are pets, or a feral cat, which ranges freely and avoids human contact.[5] A house cat is valued by humans for companionship and for its ability to hunt rodents. About 60 cat breeds are recognized by various cat registries.[6]

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