"It was the custom to burn a basket, barrel, or sack full of live cats, which was hung from a tall mast in the midst of the bonfire; sometimes a fox was burned. The people collected the embers and ashes of the fire and took them home, believing that they brought good luck. The French kings often witnessed these spectacles and even lit the bonfire with their own hands. In 1648 Louis XIV, crowned with a wreath of roses and carrying a bunch of roses in his hand, kindled the fire, danced at it and partook of the banquet afterwards in the town hall. But this was the last occasion when a monarch presided at the midsummer bonfire in Paris. At Metz midsummer fires were lighted with great pomp on the esplanade, and a dozen cats, enclosed in wicker cages, were burned alive in them, to the amusement of the people. Similarly at Gap, in the department of the Hautes-Alpes, cats used to be roasted over the midsummer bonfire."[278]
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.

^ 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.

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]
The London production ran for 21 years and 8,949 performances, while the Broadway production ran for 18 years and 7,485 performances, making Cats the longest-running musical in both theatre districts for a number of years. As of 2019, it remains the sixth-longest-running West End show and the fourth-longest-running Broadway show. Cats has since been revived in the West End twice and on Broadway once. It has also been translated into multiple languages and performed around the world many times. Long-running foreign productions include a 15-year run at the Operettenhaus in Hamburg that played over 6,100 performances, as well as an ongoing run in a purpose-built theatre in Japan that has played over 10,000 performances since it opened in 1983.
Since kitten diets are very high in calories, ingredients must be implemented to ensure adequate digestion and utilization of these calories. Choline chloride is an ingredient that maintains fat metabolism.[42] Biotin and niacin are also active in the metabolism of fats, carbs and protein.[42] Riboflavin is also necessary for the digestion of fats and carbohydrates.[42] These are the main metabolism aids incorporated into kitten diets to ensure nutrient usage is maximized.
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]
English-language touring companies have also toured the European region extensively. International tours in the early to late 2000s included stops in Sweden, Norway,[219] Finland,[220] Greece,[188] Portugal,[221] Germany,[222] and Italy.[223] The 2013–2014 UK tour visited cities in Belgium,[214][224] Greece, Italy,[225] Monaco, and Portugal.[153] Most recently, a UK production played in numerous European cities from 2016 to 2019, with tour stops in Switzerland, Croatia, Belgium, Poland, Bulgaria, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Netherlands, and Luxembourg.[226] These European tours have featured several notable performers in the role of Grizabella, including Pernilla Wahlgren (Sweden; 2003),[227] Katarína Hasprová (Slovakia; 2016)[228] and Jenna Lee-James (Netherlands; 2018–2019).[229]
Vitamin A is required in kitten diets because cats cannot convert carotenes to retinol in the intestinal mucosa because they lack the enzyme so this vitamin must be supplement in the diet.[24][42] Vitamin E is another required vitamin in kitten diets seeing as deficiency leads to steatitis, causing the depot fat to become firm and yellow-orange in colour, which is painful and leads to death.[42] Also, vitamin D is an essential vitamin because cats cannot convert it from precursors in the skin.[24]
One of the first things you should do with your new cat, if not the very first, is take him in for an exam. This trip is almost as important for the owner as it is the kitten, because it not only tests for health issues like birth defects, parasites, and feline leukemia, but it allows you to ask those all important questions including advice on litterbox training your kitten.
English-language touring companies have also toured the European region extensively. International tours in the early to late 2000s included stops in Sweden, Norway,[219] Finland,[220] Greece,[188] Portugal,[221] Germany,[222] and Italy.[223] The 2013–2014 UK tour visited cities in Belgium,[214][224] Greece, Italy,[225] Monaco, and Portugal.[153] Most recently, a UK production played in numerous European cities from 2016 to 2019, with tour stops in Switzerland, Croatia, Belgium, Poland, Bulgaria, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Netherlands, and Luxembourg.[226] These European tours have featured several notable performers in the role of Grizabella, including Pernilla Wahlgren (Sweden; 2003),[227] Katarína Hasprová (Slovakia; 2016)[228] and Jenna Lee-James (Netherlands; 2018–2019).[229]
The domestic cat is a member of the Felidae, a family that had a common ancestor about 10–15 million years ago.[45] The genus Felis diverged from the Felidae around 6–7 million years ago.[46] Members of this genus include the jungle cat (F. chaus), European wildcat (F. silvestris), African wildcat (F. lybica), Chinese mountain cat (F. bieti), sand cat (F. margarita) and black-footed cat (F. nigripes).[47] Results of phylogenetic research confirm that these wild Felis species evolved through sympatric or parapatric speciation, whereas the domestic cat evolved through artificial selection.[48]
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