Cats in Television Soap Operas

A list of cats in Coronation Street, EastEnders and Neighbours.

Pets feature highly in UK and Australian soap operas. For the sake of clarity, “soap operas”, are commonly called “soaps” and are radio or television serial dramas about the interrelating lives of ordinary people in ordinary situations. The focus is on melodrama as reflected in the copious amount of arguments, at all times, between the characters.

Coronation Street

For non-UK residents, Coronation Street is a long running television soap opera. I never watch it! It is, though, probably the country’s favorite television programme. If you like to see arguing between men and women or between anyone, anytime, you’ll like “Corrie” as it is fondly called. There used to be a cat in the title sequence as I recall.

Coronation Street Cats

Coronation Street Cats. Photo of set from Wikimedia Commons. The other photos are adjudged to be in the public domain.

I can’t work out the exact number of cats that have featured in Corrie because the information is unclear to me. I have listed 10 cats here. Steve Allen on LBC 97.3 (a London radio station) said there were 11. The Mirror newspaper lists 9. But the newspaper appears to have duplicated cats that have two names.

  1. Bella – Maxine Peacock’s cat
  2. Bobby – Minnie Caldwell’s cat
  3. Cleo – Baldwin’s Casuals’ cat
  4. Marmaduke – Betty Williams’ cat
  5. Rommel – Hilda Ogden’s cat
  6. Phoebe  – stray cat befriended by Norris Cole
  7. Tiger – Natalie Horrocks’s cat
  8. Sunny Jim – Ned Stone’s cat (is this cat also Bobby?
  9. Tucker and Zammo – kittens looked after by Trevor Dean

A new stray black cat has recently wandered onto the set. The outdoor set for the soap is located in the centre of Manchester.

There appears to have been 11 dogs in the long running series over the years.

EastEnders

EastEnders is another soap, which is in competition with Coronation street. Corrie is produced by ITV and EastEnders by the BBC.

  1. A stray cat, taken in by Pete Beale (1989).
  2. Starsky and Hutch, owned by Andy O’Brien and Debbie Wilkins.
  3. Boots, owned by Shirley Benson.
  4. Bella, owned by Rosa di Marco.
  5. Mandoo, owned by Nellie Ellis and found dead under Joe Wicks’ bed (1994–1996).
  6. Baby, owned by Zoe Slater (still lives with the Slater family).
  7. Neville, a stray cat found by Jodie Gold and Anthony Moon (3 November 2011)
  8. Musty, owned by Danielle Jones and later by Abi Branning.
  9. Crystal, owned by Jodie Gold until the cat is killed by her stepfather Harry (2010)
  10. Joey, a ginger kitten found by Tiffany Butcher and Morgan Butcher (April 2012).

Neighbours

Neighbours is produced in Australia. This is the list of cats:

  1. Arthur – a black cat adopted from a rescue centre as a gift for one of the characters in the soap. Arthur was a replacement for the person’s former cat Cassius.
  2. Cat – a tabby pointed stray cat who turned up at the home of Elle Robinson who lives at 22 Ramsay Street. Elle did not like cats but came around to liking her cat. She could have decided on a better name! Cat is actually played by a pedigree cat: a Birman named Coco.
  3. Fluffy – lived at 32 Ramsay Street.
  4. Neddy –  a stray cat that turned up at a coffee shop where he was looked after but he died of natural causes soon thereafter.
  5. Tazzle – see Willow. It is interesting that Harold Bishop wanted to give up Tazzle when his granddaughter Kerry became ill. He wanted to ensure the house was germ free! I don’t agree with that way of thinking. As it happens he offloaded his cat to another neighbour for a few months.
  6. Trev – lived at 28 Ramsay Street (1988)
  7. Willow – this cat was renamed Tazzle after she moved out of her home to a neighbour’s next door. Willow was a kitten bought as a present for Bree Timmins, who did not like cats. He was pleased when his cat disappeared. In the event, the neighbour, Harold Bishop, took on Willow despite being at one time allergic to cats. He renamed her Tazzle.

Associated page: By VG – Cats in Television…..

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Cats in Television Soap Operas — 4 Comments

  1. This is surprising to me.
    Pretty much the only time a cat is seen on TV here is in a catfood commercial. Dogs are pretty common on sitcoms but not soap operas.

    • Interesting Dee. For years the title sequence to Coronation Street had a cat on a brick wall or shed roof (I have forgotten). We need a social anthropologist to work out why cats feature quite frequently in UK spas but not USA soaps. I don’t think cats feature at all in sitcoms in the UK.

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