Fat Cat and Big Baby

"Top Cat," Hanna-Barbera's 1961 prime time animated sitcom, is coming to DVD. All 30 episodes, originally seen on ABC-TV, will be included.

Its predecessor, "The Flintstones," was a reworking of "The Honeymooners." "Top Cat" refitted "Sgt. Bilko" for felines.

I was a kid at the time. We had high hopes for the show. In my circle, after Fred and Barney and Wilma and Betty," "T. C." was the double scoop on the cone. Sure, we knew the series was lame, but something about its spirit captured our imaginations.

One sunny day, we gathered in a garage to form The Top Cat Club. The highlight being we would each become one of the program's characters. I was elected Benny the Ball. I was the chubbiest. There wasn't even a run-off.

Lewe was Top Cat. Charlie or Jim was Spook or Choo Choo. Robbie made Fancy Fancy. Or vice versa. I forget the details -- or, maybe, I'm simply coy, sworn to eternal secrecy.

All I remember or can say of The Top Cat Club, due to our strict Constitution and By-laws, is we ran around the yard banging metal trashcan lids together, while ever on the lookout for the fearsome Officer Dibble.

Forty years later, I'm way beyond those cats. I let my membership lapse and I'm in financial arrears to the organization back to August, 1972.

There was some talk of a court marshall for theft of office supplies, amounting to little more than a catnip mousie and a partially munched bag of Tender Vittles.

On the advice of counsel, I returned the fish skeletons and the herring sauce.

Now, I watch "Family Guy" and identify with Stewie, the maniacal erudite infant.

What the deuce? I'm also on the lookout for that fearsome Lois woman.
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