Space Cats was a mix of animation and puppetry from the mind of ALF creator, Paul Fusco. The show ran on NBC’s fabled Saturday Morning with 13 episodes on the 1991/1992 season. Sadly, although the lineup was solid with shows like Captain N, Super Mario World, Pro Stars, Yo! Yogi, and Wish Kid, it would be the last year that NBC ran cartoons. From there, Saturday Mornings would consist of live action shows like Saved By The Bell and City Guys. Truly the end of an era. Somewhere, Papa Smurf was crying.
Anyway, back to happier thoughts. Basically the show consisted of DORC (the disembodied omnipotent ruler of cats) notifying Space Cat leader, Captain Catgut of various problems in the world, and Catgut would send in his ace team to solve the problem. Whether it be missing artifacts or pollution, the Space Cats were there. They came to Earth on a mission, fighting crime with feline intuition. Space Cats Rule!
I actually came across this episode in 1995, just as I was starting to collect cartoons. It was then, as it is now, one of my favorite episodes that I’ve probably watched about 50 times or more.
The episode starts off with Captain Catgut being interrupted at lunchtime by DORC (Charles Nelson Reilly). We get some drool jokes, and more DORC references, and DORC explains this week’s mission. It seems that landmarks from all over the world are missing. Big Ben, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Golden Gate Bridge and President Roosevelt’s head from Mount Rushmore are all missing. Personally, I would have went with the Hollywood sign, but that’s just me.
Naturally, Captain Catgut chooses his best Space Cats, Tom, Scratch and Sniff. I think he may be biased towards these guys, because he chooses them every episode.
In the time it took to introduce our heroes, Grant’s Tomb and the Empire State Building both vanished. And in the time it took to explain that, Washington’s Monument also disappeared. Wow, these guys are good. Tom suspects the Deplete Brothers, as they have just bought a property the size of 4 North Dakotas.
The Statue of Liberty was soon become MIA and as the Space Cats went to investigate, only finding a golf tee as a clue. From there in both Paris and Egypt, the Eiffel Tower and Great Pyramid would go missing, again with golf tees as the only clue left behind. On the side of the tee is written, Deplete Bros. Mini Golf. Tom thinks its time to give the Deplete Brothers a visit. The announcer agrees. Well, that was easy.
The Space Cats show up at the Deplete Brothers property and find all of the missing landmarks, as part of a gigantic miniature golf course. You’d think other law enforcement agencies would have noticed a problem. In order to gain access to the penthouse, Scratch had them dress up as cleaning ladies. Sadly, they were caught on their way up, and had to clean every floor from the bottom up!
Elsewhere, Clete and Pete Deplete discussed their latest seizure, the Great Wall of China. Man, these guys have the best laugh! Anyway, Clete Deplete is about to reveal his choice for the 18th hole when his lawyer calls. The call would last well into the evening as the brothers discussed their marriages and divorces for the current month. They FINALLY got off the phone after midnight, but started reminiscing about when they swindled people as children. That conversation would last well into the morning, with the disguised Space Cats asleep on the floor.
The next morning, Clete Deplete finally gets around to telling what landmark he has planned for the 18th hole, Washington’s Capital Building. Tom overhears their plan, but a vaccum pulls the teams disguises off. Knowing they’re caught, Tom asks the Deplete Brothers how they’ve been stealing landmarks. Clete Deplete explains that they own an all night moving company. That’s how they did it? They must have a good benefit package. Anyway, our heroes attempt an escape, but are caught by the surly movers. The Depletes decide that Scratch and Sniff will steal the Capital Building for them, and to coerce the to do it, they place Tom in a cell slowly filling with tapioca pudding. The tapioca will continue to flow until a reporter says the magic words: the capital building has disappeared. Well, at least they’re creative :)
Scratch and Sniff go over some ideas for moving the building, but are unable to move it, even with the help of somebody’s grandmother.
Back with Tom and the Depletes, the machine is turned off for lunch. But all they have for lunch is TAPIOCA! Oh, those Depletes!
Scratch and Sniff roam the streets of Washington, knowing Tom is doomed, when suddenly it hits them. They observe two painters painting a wall sky blue. It almost looks like the building disappeared! Hmmm, this could work. The painters finish the job on the Capital Building in record time. They must have the same benefit package as the Deplete’s movers. Still, one has to wonder how the painters got the security clearance to even be that close to the building, let alone paint it!
Anyway, a news team just happens to be in the area and is the first to break the story.
Dan Jennings Brokow: This is Dan Jennings Brokow, with the biggest story of the century. Apparently the Capital Building is missing!
Scratch: No! Not missing! Disappeared!
Dan Jennings Brokow: Again, the Capital Building has apparently gone bye-bye!
Sniff: You...Idiot! Has Disappeared!
Dan Jennings Brokow: Apparently just poof, gone! The Capital Building has vanished!
Scratch: Not vanished you clown, disappeared!
Finally after some coercion, the reported gets it right, and Tom is set free. The Depletes rush to the 18th hole, but find only angry police officers. The Depletes are taken away and the landmarks are returned. Mission Accomplished!
The Space Cats rejoin us for the Space Cats Words of Wisdom, but Tom can’t hear what is being said. Today’s lesson: Never put pudding in your ears, it’ll affect your hearing.
Until next time, they’re the eh eh eh eh eh eh...Space Cats!