TV Tuesday: The Man Who Stroked Cats 1955

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Persian Kitten In Basket Pinterest Image One
Photo Credit: Pinterest

Sixty-five years ago, today, the black & white short drama The Man Who Stroked Cats appeared on BBCtv. Based on the short story The Young Man Who Stroked Cats by Morley Roberts, it was adapted and directed by Anthony Pelissier. It starred Tony Britton as the main character Tom Meredith, Josephine Griffin as The Girl, Dorice Fordred as The Daily Woman and John Gatrell as the Doctor.

There are no pictures or video clips associated with this TV short and IMDb has no written plot, summary or synopsis.

Morley Roberts Wiki Image Two
Morley Roberts
Image Credit: Wikipedia & Wikimedia

From Scribd:

[Thomas] Meredith finds himself the recipient of a very mysterious and unexpected gift…[a] Persian kitten in a basket. More mysterious still, the note accompanying it only reads: For the young man who strokes cats.

Thomas is indeed a cat-lover and, is both delighted and intrigued by his new present. But, before long, things take another strange turn. He receives a mysterious anonymous phone call from a dying woman…and this turns out to be the start of a bizarre nightly telephone romance.

From BBC Genome/Radio Times Magazine (Issue 1672/November 25, 1955):

It has been said that the world is divided into two main classes of people […] those who love cats and those who don’t. Among those who do is Tom, a young man who can’t resist giving a friendly word and a quick stroke to every stray he meets on his way to work, with results that even the most superstitious of black-cat lovers couldn’t possibly have foreseen…

Additional Reading:
A Philosophy of Tramping: Morley Roberts (Cynical Reflections)
Audible Audiobook
BBC Genome Beta
HathiTrust Digital Library
Morley Roberts (Wikipedia)
Scribd Audiobook

11 thoughts on “TV Tuesday: The Man Who Stroked Cats 1955

    enogastronomista said:
    December 1, 2020 at 8:23 AM

    What a wonderfull story! And also a great idea for my daughter’s homework, thank you so much! Xristina

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      December 1, 2020 at 10:43 PM

      Welcome. I haven’t actually read the story, yet. I need to find it.

    JT Twissel said:
    December 1, 2020 at 1:55 PM

    Interesting. How did you find about this show? I’m going to assume you’re not in your eighties or nineties.

    Charles Huss said:
    December 1, 2020 at 8:43 PM

    It’s probably due for a remake. Perhaps Tom Hanks as the star stroker.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      December 1, 2020 at 11:53 PM

      Heh. I was thinking George Clooney.

    The Conductor said:
    December 3, 2020 at 6:40 PM

    Very interesting. A lot of friends I know are surprised that I prefer cats over dogs! They’re both great, but I have a stronger relationship to cats through my life rather than dogs. Apologies to all the dog dads!

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      December 3, 2020 at 11:44 PM

      LOL! I grew up with dogs. Both sets of GPs had dogs but, my maternal GM’s farm was on a major US highway and people were forever dropping stray cats out on the road. So, she had a dog in the house and various cats around the farm. When I got older, renting an apartment, it was easier to keep a cat than a dog. My SO and I have had two rescue dogs that didn’t live long. Now, we have a 20lbs orange Hemingway.

      I also had a pet rat as a teen.

    badfinger20 (Max) said:
    December 9, 2020 at 9:29 AM

    They were probably erased knowing the BBC… You are going to be THAT cat lady aren’t you? I have nothing against cats… I grew up with one…she was an outside cat because mom would not let a pet inside…I’m more partial to dogs though…cats have that snob thing going on but that is part of their appeal.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      December 9, 2020 at 1:40 PM

      Most likely. They are loathe to admit it. The Doctor Who thing blew up in their faces after increased interest in the franchise.

      Gifting a man with a kitten after seeing him petting stray cats? Yeah. I’d do that. It wouldn’t be a Persian, tho…or a Siamese. Mutt cats are better tempered.

      Hey. I’ve seen snobby dogs. It’s all about the human interaction…or lack of it.

      My mom was a neat freak. I didn’t get to keep pets long in my house.

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