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The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty

The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty is a children’s television show alternating animation and live footage segments. It took the concept of James Thurber’s popular short story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and parodied it with anthropomorphised dogs and cats. The show did not last long; it ran into trouble with the estate of James Thurber as it was not authorized by them. It did reappear on the Groovie Goolies show under the title The New Adventures of Waldo Kitty. 

Waldo Kitty, an orange and white bicolor cat, and his girlfriend Felicia, a white Persian, were cats who were constantly bullied by the bulldog, Tyrone. Each episode featured wraparound live-action segments of two cats and a bulldog playing the parts, with voiceovers. Waldo or Felicia (or both) would inevitably be bullied by Tyrone, inducing Waldo to begin wishing he was a famous character, and the scene would shift to a cartoon version of whichever character he wished to be, with Felicia appearing as the appropriate love-interest, and Tyrone appearing as the villain. In the animated stories, Tyrone was consistently flanked by three henchmen dogs: a large, fat Sheepdog, a tall, thin Irish Setter-like hound, and a diminutive Cocker Spaniel, whose voice was a caricature of Peter Lorre. Although they were constantly by Tyrone’s side in the animated story, they never made any appearances in the live-action story. On the other hand, a small sparrow, a mutual friend of both Waldo and Felicia’s, would often appear in the animated sequences, usually as Waldo’s sidekick (Such as in the Cat Man stories, in which he was Cat Man’s sidekick “Sparrow” – a parody of Robin).

At the conclusion of the animated segment, the show would return to the live-action, in which Waldo, now inspired with renewed courage and confidence thanks to the animated story, would then stand up to the bullying Tyrone. Not his physical equal in any way, Waldo would use his wiles to goad Tyrone into chasing him, leading Tyrone into a trap that would result in Tyrone getting in serious trouble with his owners (either a hot-tempered man or woman, whose faces were never seen), and Tyrone would suffer the consequences, (i.e., spanked, locked inside the house, tethered to a tree, etc.). Now safe from Tyrone, Waldo and Felecia could relax without worry and have a laugh or two at Tyrone’s predicament.

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