Dennis the Menace – “Dennis’ Tool Chest”

Dennis the Menace Season 2 DVD

Original Air Date: March 5, 1961
Starring: Jay North, Joseph Kearns, Mary Wickes
Directed by: William D. Russell

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

Synopsis: Mr. Wilson (Joseph Kearns) is working on his car and trying to ignore the meddlesome Dennis (Jay North).  In the meantime, Mrs. Cathcarte’s cat climbs into the car’s open trunk and Dennis accidentally closes her inside.  Later the cat gets inside Mr. Wilson’s air vent.

Featured Feline: The orange tabby cat that stars in this episode could very well be Orangey or one of the many cats trained by Frank Inn.  The cat first appears when Mr. Wilson is working on his car and leaves his trunk open.  The cat runs into the scene and jumps into the trunk (as someone mentions on IMDb you can see the head of the trainer in the back seat of the car!)  Dennis then does Mr. Wilson a favor by closing the trunk, locking the cat inside.

Dennis the Menace - Dennis' Tool Chest - cat jumps into trunk

Dennis and his friend Billy (Tommy Anderson) meet Mrs. Cathcarte (Mary Wickes) who is looking for her pregnant cat Teresa (formerly Mike.)  The boys offer to look for the missing feline in exchange for some brownies.

When Mr. Wilson hears the cat meowing in the trunk he thinks it is his car squeaking and proceeds to take the entire vehicle apart to fix the noise.  Dennis wants to borrow some of Mr. Wilson’s tools to build a little house where Teresa can have her kittens but Mr. Wilson is reluctant to lend out his tools.  Dennis’ father (Herbert Anderson) offers to buy Dennis his own tool chest.  While all this is happening, Mr. Wilson opens the trunk of his car and Teresa manages to slip out.

Next Mr. Wilson decides to fix a trellis over an air vent.  When the trellis is removed, Teresa climbs into the vent.  When they can’t seem to lure Teresa out, Mr. Wilson borrows Dennis’ tools and starts knocking holes into his wall.

Dennis the Menace - Dennis' Tool Chest - cat goes into air vent

Dennis lures Teresa out while Mr. Wilson is tearing out the wall.  Mrs. Wilson (Sylvia Field) sees the cat and takes her from Dennis, pushing her back into the vent.  She insists Mr. Wilson must never know he didn’t have to break the wall.

Dennis the Menace - Dennis' Tool Chest - Dennis lures cat from air vent

What’s interesting to note about this scene is when Dennis carries the cat inside we can see that Teresa appears to have balls!  Mrs. Cathcarte better consider changing her name back to Mike!

Dennis the Menace - Dennis' Tool Chest - Mr. Wilson and kitten

Sure enough Mr. Wilson retrieves Teresa from the wall and is excited to be the big hero.

Dennis the Menace - Dennis' Tool Chest - Mr. Wilson rescues the cat

Cat Burglar (Scene Stealer): In the final scene Dennis brings over one of Teresa’s kittens in a basket to the Wilsons.  He says the kitten’s name is Buster and Mrs. Wilson is immediately smitten.  Mr. Wilson insists he doesn’t like cats but when Mrs. Wilson and Dennis go into the house to get some milk he walks over and the kitten looks up at him with the most adorable expression.

Dennis the Menace - Dennis' Tool Chest - adorable kitten in basket

In the end Mr. Wilson falls for the tiny fuzzball and suggests they change the kitten’s name to Frisky.

Dennis the Menace - Dennis' Tool Chest - Mr. Wilson and kitten

Final Mewsings: There seems to be some gender confusion going on around Dennis’ neighborhood!

Relevant Links:

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