Original Air Date: September 26, 1969
Starring: Robert Reed, Florence Henderson, Ann B. Davis
Also Starring: Tye
Directed by: John Rich
Synopsis: In the pilot episode for the iconic series, widower Mike Brady (Robert Reed) is set to marry widow Carol Martin (Florence Henderson) and combine their respective families, Mike’s three boys Greg (Barry Williams), Peter (Christopher Knight) and Bobby (Mike Lookinland) and Carol’s three girls Marcia (Maureen McCormick), Jan (Eve Plumb) and Cindy (Susan Olsen). But things get off to a bumpy start when things go haywire at their wedding.
Cat Burglar (Scene Stealer): The sole cause of the Brady wedding going wonky is the fact that the boys bring their dog Tiger to the wedding, forgetting about the girls’ orange tabby cat, Fluffy. Mike orders the boys to put Tiger in their car but of course Tiger escapes (by the magical contrivance of a power window button when the window’s crank handle is plainly in sight.) Fluffy is in the backyard and even meows when the groom kisses the bride, but then Tiger shows up and chases Fluffy into the cat’s house.
The chase then proceeds all around the wedding, over the laps of the guests, under people’s feet, across the buffet table and finally underneath the table holding the wedding cake.
Later when Carol and Mike are on their honeymoon they start to think about how they had yelled at their children during the wedding’s chaos and decide to go get them and bring them to the hotel to stay with them. When they arrive at the hotel it turns out that Jan has brought Fluffy along in a case and Alice then walks in with Tiger. Tiger, of course, would go on to star in the series as a member of the family. But sadly Fluffy was never seen after this one appearance. Presumably Fluffy ended up staying with Carol’s parents, who also never appeared again.
On the show’s season one commentary track, the show’s creator Sherwood Schwartz talked about the difference between filming when using cats and dogs, pointing out that dogs are very trainable and easy to work with but that cats are very different and must be within the trainer’s eyeline. He went on to explain that it took three to four hours to get the cat to run across the laps of the wedding guests in that one memorable shot.
According to The Encyclopedia of TV Pets, Fluffy was played by three cats. The main cat actor was named Tye and was a descendent of the cats used in the film Rhubarb (it isn’t stated whether or not Tye was a direct descendent of Orangey but the similarities are there!) Another one of the cats was named Bigfoot.
Final Mewsings: We wish Fluffy could have remained a permanent part of the Brady household.