Each episode of Heathcliff and The Catillac Cats was comprised of two separate eleven-minute stories – one starring famous Heathcliff and his buddies, and the other with newcomers The Catillac Cats, featuring their leader, Riff Riff.
I barely knew Heathcliff and I knew nothing about The Catillac Cats until Lori dumped four floppy discs and four videocassettes with series episodes on my desk just before telling me I was to be Heathcliff and The Catillac Cats' new story editor.
My initial reading of Heathcliff scripts and episodes featuring the lovable ne’er-do-well, was a delight. What was a total surprise The Catillac Cats were! I raced through reading all four scripts from Season One’s sixty-five episode run. Then viewed videocassettes of The Catillac Cats stories. They had me at hello.
I loved The Catillac Cats. I loved Riff Raff, their leader. I love Wordsworth, who roller skates around the neighborhood with headphones on and speaks in rhyme. Muscled Mungo and Hector – a tough-talking street-smart cat with a New Jersey accent, convinced he should be the gang’s leader – rounds out the irresistible group.
Then there was Cleo. Heathcliff’s girlfriend, Sonja, was cute. But Cleo was in a whole different league. If I was a cat, I guarantee I’d be dating Cleo. Add in all of them living in a junkyard kingdom and it’s a can’t miss concept.
I learned Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats was created by Jean Chalopin and the French cartoonist Bruno Bianchi. But the series had Jean written all over it. Riff Raff’s a whimsically romantic character, a creative genius who aspires to greatness and leads all who follow his siren’s song. This was Jean’s baby, all right, and I was loving it.