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BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)

SharonA 24 May 02 - 10:11 AM
SharonA 24 May 02 - 10:14 AM
Dave the Gnome 24 May 02 - 11:09 AM
Watson 24 May 02 - 11:31 AM
English Jon 24 May 02 - 12:48 PM
Liz the Squeak 24 May 02 - 02:54 PM
The Walrus 24 May 02 - 03:21 PM
Morticia 24 May 02 - 04:14 PM
CapriUni 24 May 02 - 04:20 PM
Sonnet 24 May 02 - 04:34 PM
SharonA 24 May 02 - 04:40 PM
SharonA 24 May 02 - 04:44 PM
GUEST 24 May 02 - 05:02 PM
GUEST,MAG at work 25 May 02 - 11:40 AM
Liz the Squeak 25 May 02 - 06:24 PM
CapriUni 25 May 02 - 09:32 PM
SharonA 28 May 02 - 10:00 AM
CapriUni 28 May 02 - 10:23 AM
lady penelope 28 May 02 - 01:41 PM
SharonA 28 May 02 - 02:11 PM
CapriUni 29 May 02 - 08:02 AM
Gervase 29 May 02 - 08:21 AM
GUEST,Ivan 29 May 02 - 08:34 AM
Liz the Squeak 30 May 02 - 12:48 AM
Gervase 30 May 02 - 05:04 AM
katlaughing 30 May 02 - 05:31 AM
katlaughing 30 May 02 - 05:36 AM

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Subject: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: SharonA
Date: 24 May 02 - 10:11 AM

I have one of those tear-off-a-page-a-day desk calendars about cats, with photos and little tidbits of information and trivia. A recent entry says:

"Advertising superstar Morris the Cat's British counterpart was Arthur, the spokescat for Spillers cat food. Arthur was famous for scooping food out of a can with his paw. He appeared in hundreds of TV commercials in the 1960s and '70s."

Unfortunately, the photo accompanying the caption was not of Arthur, so I'm wondering what he looked like. I'd be interested in reading descriptions of any of the commercials, to get an idea of what they were like (and how they compare with the old 9-Lives commercials featuring the original Morris [real name: Lucky]).

One of the few references to Arthur that I could find on the 'net was this:

" Subj: Re: Real name of Arthur's (Kattomeat) cat

I wrote From '40 Years of British Television', by Jane Harbord and Jeff Wright. Published by Boxtree, ISBN 1-85283-409-9. On page 67 (which relates to 1974), under the heading 'TV news', it says: 'Arthur the TV cat was kidnapped. He became a star in 1967 in the commercials for Kattomeat, eating his food straight from the tin with his paw. He was found and returned to Spillers who now owned him. He died two years later aged 16. And Arthur was really a she cat called Samantha before stardom struck.' I have now found that it was stated in CAT WORLD: A Feline Encyclopedia, by Desmond Morris, that the original Arthur was actually called 'Arthur'. This original Arthur was eventually replaced by another cat found in an animal shelter who was trained to do Arthur's scooping trick. That cat, Arthur II, was called 'Snowy'. The bibliography listed in Cat World:

1970 Dudley, E. "Arthur". London
1975 Montgomery, J. "Arthur the Television Cat". W.H. Allen, London.
1995 Head A. "Arthur's World of Cats". Lennard Publishing, Harpenden, Herts

Of the two sources, I am inclined to take CAT WORLD over the television book...
Thanks,
Jane"


A kidnapping! This gets curiouser and curiouser. Anyone have info on that, or on Samantha the female "Arthur"?


Sharon (whose cat is also named Arthur... no relation!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: SharonA
Date: 24 May 02 - 10:14 AM

I should have given the URL reference for that last excerpt (about the kidnapping), from "Stumpers", so here it is: http://www.cuis.edu/ftp/STUMPERS-L/STUMPERS-L.1999-08


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 May 02 - 11:09 AM

He was white is the only fact I remember.

There were some urban myths at the time. Eg - He had his claws removed or he would not eat with his paw, there were loads of different cats doing the same commercial, it took hundreds of hours filming to get the ad finished, the original Arthur died during filming etc etc etc.

Must have been a good advert to get people talking like that I guess!

Not much help I know but at least it's a start:-)

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: Watson
Date: 24 May 02 - 11:31 AM

Don't start talking about de-clawing cats - you'll have all the cat lovers / cat haters and obnoxious GUESTS crawling out of the other threads.


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: English Jon
Date: 24 May 02 - 12:48 PM

corrrrr...shit!

EJC


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 24 May 02 - 02:54 PM

He was an ordinary white moggy, not a deaf one, and he ate out of the can like that quite naturallly. And he wasn't declawed. Ever seen a cat wash it's paws? They never shred their tonges do they...?

The sucessive Arthurs had to be trained to eat out of the can with a paw, and in fact, one or two did appear in the adverts with him.

I know, sad isn't it..... I should get out and listen to more music!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: The Walrus
Date: 24 May 02 - 03:21 PM

The only other point I can remember about "Arthur" is that he (or it seems from the above, possibly, she) was a southpaw, eating with the left forepaw (which, I seem to racall, caused some problems when they considered remaking some of the ads in the 1990s).

Walrus


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: Morticia
Date: 24 May 02 - 04:14 PM

Loki also eats out of the can with her paw.....wonder if I could make any money with the little beastie?From somewhere she has found a baby's dummy ( comforter?) and is now wandering around the house with the rubber bit in her mouth.....just once,just once I would have liked a sane cat but oooh no....


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: CapriUni
Date: 24 May 02 - 04:20 PM

Not surprised at the eating with the paw... I've had cats that drink milk out of a class/cup with their paws, and I have one cat now who grab at a bit of food with her paw and pick it up to eat it, if it's gotten to a corner of the dish she can't reach with her mouth...

Come to think of it, all these cats have been female...

And human females also tend to be more nimble with their front paws than males, too...

Wonder if it's a double X thing...

Also, and this is US advertising, now: The Taco Bell talking dog is also female.

So I only have one question: Why did advertisers think it would be more attractive to give these four legged stars male identities?


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: Sonnet
Date: 24 May 02 - 04:34 PM

My white cat, Charlie, scoops food with his left paw. I've often wondered whether this is a peculiarity of white cats. (I share your sentiments, Morticia, as I too have mad moggies.) Despite his dexterity, Charlie never bothers to cover up what he's left behind in the litter tray! Another 'endearing' little habit is drinking out of the loo if anyone forgets to put the lid down. Never saw 'Arthur' do that....

JMcS


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: SharonA
Date: 24 May 02 - 04:40 PM

Another four-legged star with a male identity is the Fancy Feast Cat (according to this profile: http://www.fancyfeast.com/anniversary/template_bio.asp – no indication as to whether the feline "actor" is male).

On the other hand, all the female-identity dogs used in the "Lassie" movies and TV shows were actually male! These dogs weren't selling a product, however.

Thanks for all the info about Arthur – keep it coming! If there are any pictures of the Arthur ads on-line, please link us to 'em!

Have a good weekend, all,
Sharon


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: SharonA
Date: 24 May 02 - 04:44 PM

P.S. to Sonnet: My Arthur tries to sneak a drink from the toilet when I'm not looking – including when I'm about to sit down!


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: GUEST
Date: 24 May 02 - 05:02 PM

How to Kill a Cat

There are many ways to kill a cat.
You can use a gun.
You can use a poisoned bun.
You can use a bat.
You can use a car tire to make him flat.
There are many ways to kill a cat.
Throw them from a very high tree.
Throw them in a hive of bees.
Put them in a microwave.
Toss them in a lion's cage.
There are many ways to kill a cat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: GUEST,MAG at work
Date: 25 May 02 - 11:40 AM

Better songwriters than Guest have expressed those sentiments.


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 25 May 02 - 06:24 PM

We frequently found grubby paw prints down the toilet where Ceramin (the infamous Cat Fart Thread originator) used to drink - he prefered it when a fresh loo bloo had been put in..... Nowadays they just drink out of the pond.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: CapriUni
Date: 25 May 02 - 09:32 PM

My cat, Trixie, doesn't drink out of the toilet, but she does like to jump up on the tolet and watch the water swirl down...

She also watches the water swirl in the sink when I do dishes, and sits by the glass door watching the rain splash in the puddles.

Might be because the family I adopted her from had a fish tank...


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Subject: Cats and water
From: SharonA
Date: 28 May 02 - 10:00 AM

When I was a kid, the family had a calico mom-cat who would not only get up on her hind feet and peer into a bucket of water, but would actually stir the water with her paw and then watch it swirl. She also liked to walk up to puddles and smack the water with the side of her paw to watch the water fly up in the air. I'm sure that she would've skimmed stones if she could have.

...But we're getting 'way off the subject here! What about Arthur? What about other cats in other commercials (or should I say "adverts"?)? Tell me all about the British television cats!


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: CapriUni
Date: 28 May 02 - 10:23 AM

Well, maybe it wasn't the fish tank, then.

Maybe some cats just like water...

There goes another myth...

So, yes! What about Arthur? Any pictures of her online?


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: lady penelope
Date: 28 May 02 - 01:41 PM

I don't know if any BritCats remember the Kosset cat? A great big white fluffy cat that used to sprawl across carpets (why this should show carpets off I don't know). He belonged to my brothers friend. His Dad was an animal wrangler for adds and TV stuff. Aparently it used to be fairly odd in his house as you were never quite sure what his Dad had brought home or where he would billet it. ( Pythons in the airing cupboard, young lions in the camper van, terrapins in the bath, owls on the bannisters...........that kind of thing). His wife had a fit when the scorpions escaped.

I used to have a cat that slept on the TV. She would often lie on her back with her head over the edge, trying to see what was on. If she was unmoved she went back to sleep, however, if she liked it she continued watching despite the fact her head was blocking half the picture, if she didn't like it she would get off the telly, turning it off as she went! The incidental turning - of - the - sound - down that she practised fequently, made the advent of remote controls a small blessing.

TTFN M'Lady P.

duplicate postings deleted
- joeclone -


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: SharonA
Date: 28 May 02 - 02:11 PM

Lady P: LOL x 5! Remote controls were far from a blessing where my dearly departed kitty Chester was concerned: he liked to step on them and change the channel! He was also fond of pushing the buttons on the VCR with his nose to hear the motor "purr" as it rewound or fast-forwarded, and would purr back at the machine. Many's the TV program missed because Chester pushed the VCR timer button to "off", and many's the tape with several disjointed segments of programs on it because of Chester's fondness for the "record" and "stop" buttons. The machine finally had to be moved out of his reach!

I certainly envy your brother's friend for the revolving menagerie in his home (well, except for the scorpions!). BTW, what's an "airing cupboard"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: CapriUni
Date: 29 May 02 - 08:02 AM

Chester sounds like a great Cat, Sharon!


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: Gervase
Date: 29 May 02 - 08:21 AM

Of course, you have to be careful what you say, because the little buggers are bound to be listening and hatching plots.
I think there's a furry conspiracy afoot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: GUEST,Ivan
Date: 29 May 02 - 08:34 AM

Morticia

You want a sane cat? I want to win the lottery. We probably have the same odds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 30 May 02 - 12:48 AM

I like the link Gervase, I must be a domesticated animal because I got them right. Mind you, I live with a cat that must be the most demanding, contrary beast alive, but not for long if he does that thing with his paw at 4.00am again.

Oh and G? I think you are spending far too much time at home.... GET HELP NOW!!!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: Gervase
Date: 30 May 02 - 05:04 AM

Too much time at home? You should see the vegetable garden at the moment; and taste the bread; and smell the beer that's brewing; and see how the fly-tying's progressing. Beats me how I ever found time for work. Mind you, a bit of dosh would come in handy, but who's grumbling...


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 May 02 - 05:31 AM

Love the link, BUT I've a houseful of mogs who are preparing to lodge a protest! Of course they have mastered language...they are some of the best cross-species interpreters on the planet, nay, in the galaxy...what's wrong with these researchers?!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Arthur, the Spillers cat food cat (UK)
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 May 02 - 05:36 AM

I hope Arthur, however many there are/were, got a good share of the profit. S/He certainly did a good job: (emphasis is mine)

Nestle buying Ralston Purina
By The Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Ralston Purina Co. has reportedly accepted a $10.1 billion takeover offer from Nestle SA, the Swiss food giant whose products include the Friskies and Alpo pet food brands.

The deal is expected to be announced today, The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site yesterday, citing people familiar with the situation.

Nestle will pay $33.50 for each share of Ralston, a 36 percent premium to the St. Louis-based company's closing stock price Friday of $24.63 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Nestle and Ralston Purina refused to comment on reports that a deal was in the works.

Jaine Mehring, senior food analyst at Salomon Smith Barney in New York, said the possibility of such an offer does not come as a surprise given Nestle's desire to expand its pet food offerings in the United States. Similarly, the Ralston brand could prosper overseas through Nestle's international distribution system, she added.

Based on measured sales, Ralston controls 27 percent of the $4.3 billion dog-food market, while Nestle accounts for roughly 12 percent, the Journal reported. Ralston is also a leader in cat food sales, holding 33 percent of the $2.6 billion market, with Nestle making an additional 13 percent.

Mehring said when industry estimates for unmeasured sales are taken into account, Nestle and Ralston Purina each command roughly 15 percent of U.S. market share.

An agreement would likely receive antitrust scrutiny and the companies could be required to trim their pet food businesses in order to gain regulatory approval.

Rival companies with significant pet-food units, such as Procter & Gamble Co., Colgate-Palmolive Co. and Mars Inc., could try to outbid Nestle.

"There's aways a chance of some other bidder," Mehring said. "I think it's a pretty fair price."

Nestle, the world's largest food company, produces everything from mineral water to dairy products to coffee. The company is based in Vevey, Switzerland.

Nestle has enlarged its pet food business in the past through acquisitions. In 1985, the company purchased Carnation, which owned Friskies, and in 1994 it added the Alpo brand to its holdings. The company picked up one-fifth of Europe's pet-food market in 1998, when it paid more than $1 billion for Britain's Spillers Pet Food, a subsidiary of Dalgety. Nationwide, dog-food sales grew by about 4 percent last year, while cat food volume grew by roughly 5 percent.


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