“Early Edition” Cat

Early Edition‘ Cat – Easy-going 11-pound orange tabby cat on the fantasy drama EARLY EDITION/CBS/1996-2000. During each episode, a mysterious cat (played by Panther the cat) appeared at the doorstep of Gary Hobson, a Chicago do-gooder (Kyle Chandler). The cat delivered a mystical copy of the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper which contained the events of the “next” day’s news.

Panther the cat was trained by Bill Casey who adopted him in 1988 when he found the sickly year-old feline in an animal shelter. After a year of care by local a veterinarian medical school and thousands in medical costs, Panther was back on his feet (paws). When Panther turned nine-years-old he got the gig as ‘the cat‘ on EARLY EDITION. At the end of the first season, Panther, needed major surgery and missed the last show. He returned for the next season and was soon given an understudy named Carl the Cat to help out.

In the “Encyclopedia of TV Pets” (p. 85) Casey revealed

Of course, the nice thing about the EARLY EDITION assignment was the fact that the cat was almost somewhat of a mythical, mystical type of figure, so it was never really identified in the show other than pretty much ‘the cat,’ yet all of our scripts had him clearly named Carl.

Bill Casey also handled Spike the German Shepherd (played by Trucker) and later a Golden Retriever (Riley) who served as the seeing-eye dog for the blind Marissa Clark (Shanesia Davis-Williams).

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