Category Archives: Reality Cat

Sunday Short bannerHoppity Hare (1964)

British Pathé

Synopsis: Newsreel footage shows a domesticated hare named Hoppity living in a residence in West Mersea, Essex.

Reality Cat: The hare lives with Mrs. Joan Bullin and her tabby cat Bustamante (at least we think that’s what they’re saying) Bullin (or Buster for short). Buster seems to be taking the whole thing in stride, even eating alongside Hoppity. Unfortunately the newsreel footage cuts off suddenly.

Hoppity Hare - tabby cat Buster lying in basket

Hoppity Hare - tabby cat Buster eating food from bowl on floor

Hoppity Hare - tabby cat Buster eating alongside Hoppity Hare on floor

Final Mewsings: Buster probably wonders why he wasn’t raised on toast and marmalade!


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Cat Show (1948)

British Pathé

Synopsis: Unused and unissued newsreel footage of a cat show at Shepherd’s Bush, London.

Reality Cats: The newsreel begins with a couple of takes of two women, Irene Ashton and Diana Morrison, looking into a basket to find some Siamese kittens.

Cat Show 1948 - Irene Ashton and Diana Morrison looking into basket of Siamese kittens

Cat Show 1948 - little girl looking at Siamese kitten in cage

Cat Show 1948 - Siamese kittens inside cage

Cat Show 1948 - kitten sitting on woman's shoulder

Several shots of the show cats are then seen. What’s interesting about this footage is it gives you an idea of how these segments were shot, with an interesting variety of sounds being made to get the cats to look up for the cameras.

Cat Show 1948 - close up of white Persian cat

Cat Show 1948 - extreme close up of black Persian cat

Cat Show 1948 - close up of gray Persian cat

Cat Show 1948 - close up of Siamese cat

Final Mewsings: Cats must wonder why people make such weird noises when cameras are around.


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Turkish Van Cats Learn to Swim (1960)

British Pathé

Synopsis: Silent newsreel footage shows three Turkish Van cats eating and being forced to swim in tubs.

Reality Cats: The unused and unissued footage shows the cats with a couple of women who seem to be demonstrating how they are “teaching” the cats to swim. While Turkish Vans are naturally good swimmers, these poor cats seem to want to do anything but take a swim!

Turkish Van Cats Learn to Swim - Turkish Van Cat trying to get out of bathtub

Turkish Van Cats Learn to Swim - Turkish Van Cat wrapped in towel after swimming

Turkish Van Cats Learn to Swim - Turkish Van Cat being made to swim in large tub

Turkish Van Cats Learn to Swim - Turkish Van Cat wrapped in towel after swimming

Turkish Van Cats Learn to Swim - Turkish Van Cat swimming in tub

The cats are more comfortable in the garden playing and eating, although the one woman seems to want to control where and how they eat as well.

Turkish Van Cats Learn to Swim - Turkish Van Cat running in garden

Turkish Van Cats Learn to Swim - Turkish Van Cats eating from bowl of food

Final Mewsings: Just because cats can swim doesn’t mean they *want* to!


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Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood – “Season 1, Episode 68”

Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood poster

Original Air Date: May 22, 1968
Starring: Fred Rogers
Directed by: David F. Chen

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains spoilers for this episode!

Synopsis: Mr. Rogers (Fred Rogers) attends a dance class and then comes home to find a surprise waiting for him.

Reality Cat: The surprise turns out to be a visit from Mr. Rogers’ own tabby cat named Blackberry.

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - Blackberry tabby cat approaches Fred Rogers

Mr. Rogers seems very happy to see Blackberry and Blackberry seems very happy to see him as well.

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - Blackberry tabby cat being held by Fred Rogers

Blackberry is then taken to the bench nearby, as Mr. Rogers explains it is her favorite place to sit when visiting. The cat enjoys pets and loving and even kneads in contentment.

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - Blackberry tabby cat on cushioned bench with Fred Rogers

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - Blackberry tabby cat on cushioned bench being petted by Fred Rogers

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - Blackberry tabby cat on cushioned bench being petted by Fred Rogers

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - Blackberry tabby cat on cushioned bench being petted by Fred Rogers

Mr. Rogers then fetches a little bowl of food but Blackberry is not interested in eating and jumps back onto the bench. Blackberry seems interested in the lights and camera crew but is very comfortable as well.

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - Blackberry tabby cat being offered food by Fred Rogers

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - Blackberry tabby cat on cushioned bench with Fred Rogers

Finally Mr. Rogers puts the food away and fetches his loafers, which he will change as is the custom at the end of the program. He explains he will be taking Blackberry back home with him.

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - Blackberry tabby cat on cushioned bench looking at shoes held by Fred Rogers

Final Mewsings: Cats make the best surprises!

Many thanks to Erin T. Aardvark for letting us know about this adorable kitty!


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Lion Loves Our Local (1961)

British Pathé

Synopsis: Newsreel footage from Wellingborough, Northamptonshire shows zookeeper Morris Sharpe at home and at the pub with a fifteen month old lion named Simba.

Reality Cat: While showing the lion in the Sharpe home, a tuxedo cat peeks in through a doorway, then beats a hasty retreat as the narrator explains, “Lions, of course, are easily house trained. All the same, poor old kitty prefers another room.” In actuality it appears that someone on the other side of the door grabs and cat and pulls it back through, accounting for the startled look on the poor cat’s face.

Lion Loves Our Local - tuxedo cat in doorway

Lion Loves Our Local - tuxedo cat in doorway

Final Mewsings: Cats don’t like it when they’re not invited to the pub as well!


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