Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The MTM Kitten

One of my favorite memories as a kid was of our family eating on TV trays in a semi-circle and watching the Mary Tyler Moore show during the early seventies. That has to be, hands down, one of my favorite programs of all time. I recently learned that all six seasons are available on Netflix so I’ve got every one of them queued up and have just finished the 13 episodes of Season One. It’s brilliant.

Do you remember the cute little orange kitten that mews at the very end of each episode?

I remember the first time I saw that kitten back in 1970. At the end of the program the M - T - M letters appeared and then . . ."meow" . . . the cute little kitten was shown. Even back then I remember wondering what had happened to that kitten.

Who did it belong to?

What was its name?

Where did it live?

As I was watching these 13 episodes forty years later, I still found myself wondering about that kitten. Well, here’s the story. . .

When Mary Tyler Moore Productions was founded in 1969, they wanted to use a kitten to mew as opposed to the MGM lion roaring. So, they went to a local animal shelter and selected this particular orange kitten because of its really loud mew.

After filming it for the segment, the kitten was wandering around the set and was accidentally electrocuted on an exposed lighting wire.

I’m kidding! Such an incident would have “urban legend” written all over it.

No, the kitten was named “Mimsie”, was adopted by one of the crew members and lived a long and happy life in San Bernardino.

Mimsie died in 1988, almost twenty years old.

Sigh . . . so there you have it. The story of the MTM kitten.

And, of course, now I want to go to the animal shelter and adopt an orange cat just so I can name it Mimsie.

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At 2:21 PM , Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

I would love it if you adopted a little "Mimsie" of your own! *smiles*

Oh, and are you ready for this? I've never seen an episode of the Mary Tyler Moore show. Never. Can you believe it?! :)

At 7:54 PM , Blogger William V. Madison said...

Given Mary Tyler Moore's advocacy for animals, I shouldn't be surprised by this story. But on the other hand, she can't have known what was happening in every corner of the studio, can she?

I do find it remarkable that the show generates such intense curiosity about the tiniest details -- such as those who tracked down the lady in the background when Mary tosses her cap in the air, in the opening credits. (Her name was Hazel Frederick.) And now we know the kitten's name, too.

If the show were terrible, we probably wouldn't care; and so, Miss Healthypants, isn't it time you watched?

At 1:22 PM , Blogger Br. Jonathan said...

Bill: Thanks for the Hazel Frederick info. That woman even LOOKS like a Hazel.


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