MORRIS® THE CAT
From time to time special and famous guests would appear on FBN stations. In the early 1970’s we were honored to have as a guest Morris the Cat. This Morris was the original mascot for 9 Lives™ brand cat food. The author recalls that Morris made a visit to the upstairs studio at Faith Center to make an appearance on Black Buffalo’s Pow Wow. After the show pictures were handed out such as the one seen below. You will notice that the picture was personally autographed by Morris with his paw print seen at the lower third and left hand side of the photo.
Here are some comments from former FBN staff members who also remember the visiting of this famous TV celebrity:
© 2014 Joe Snelson
Steve Pair, FBN Engineering, submitted this detailed account. ”Yes it was on Black Buffalos Pow Wow as I got one of the pictures. I recall the owner of the cat telling us how he goes to the pound to find ‘show’ animals and he told us how he found Morris at the pound and how he tested him for his suitability for the part. Actually it was quite interesting and I remember the story to this day.
Actually the guys story was: To find a suitable cat to play Morris, he went to the pound, picked up the largest metal dish he could find and threw it down on the concrete floor bouncing it up and into the chain link fence of the cat enclosure. He watched all of the cats scatter to the back of their cages in abject fear……except Morris. He said he saw this one cat, sitting right next to the fence where the metal bowl hit, who simply ignored the whole commotion and continued licking his paw and washing his face. He instinctively knew that was the cat he wanted to play Morris. Whether he actually did this or not I can’t say, but it is the story he told.
He further explained that the reason he needed a cat who was calm was because the largest part of being Morris wasn’t the actual shooting of the commercials, but the public appearances that would be required. More often than not, these appearances involved being around children and he needed a cat who was not easily spooked, who was super calm and like human interaction. Morris seemed to fit the bill as he rubbed up against, and playfully butted heads with all of the kids on Black Buffalos Pow Wow who were crowded around him and were clamoring to pet him.”
Needless to say, Morris’ visit was quite special for the kids and crew and that day he was quite the “Cat’s meow” for everyone.
Burt Lehman, FBN Engineering, confirmed that, “Yes, Morris was a guest on the Pow Wow with Black Buffalo.”
Rick Eisleben, FBN Director, who directed Black Buffalo’s Pow Wow said,”Absolutely
correct. I remember directing the "Morris" guest-shot on Black Buffalo's Pow Wow
in the upstairs studio.”
Al “Sleepy Owl” Davis was a regular crew member on the Pow Wow. He picked up the
nickname of Sleepy Owl on the show as the kids thought his first name was Owl. Al
sent in his comment on this particular Pow Wow, “I remember working on the Black
Buffalo's POW WOW as a cameraman when we had Morris the cat on. It was always fun
to have "celebrities" visit us on set.”