Thomas Hewitt Edward Cat (T.H.E. Cat)

Created by Harry Julian Fink

A former aerialist and trapeze artist for the circus, and “reformed” cat burglar, THOMAS HEWITT EDWARD CAT (T.H.E. Cat, get it?) found employment as a freelance bodyguard and investigator in San Francisco on the 1966 NBC TV show. He worked out of an “office” at the Casa del Gato nightclub, a joint run by his good friend, and sometime cohort, Spanish gypsy Pepe. His police contact was Captain McAllister, he of the one arm and bowler hat.

As a kid, I used to love this show. The plots weren’t terribly complex, and you could count on a few good thrills every week just watching Loggia, clad entirely in black, scaling tall buildings to death-defying heights, skulking around in the shadows, armed only with a grappling hook and some rope, sorta like Spider-Man without superpowers. He relied instead on intelligence and agility, although upon occasion he was known to carry both a sleeve knife — a small dagger which he used to lethal effect on everything from a Gila monster to a man — and a .32 Walther automatic.

Although not everyone was as impressed as I was. Some wag at Variety (September 21, 1966) had this to say: “T.H.E. Cat, being fairly fast on the action stuff, may not lay an E.G.G. in total, but it certainly needs W.O.R.K.”

Well, so what?

To an eight-year old, it was pretty COOL! And I seem to remember it had a rather gritty, dark mood to it, lots of shadows and some pretty freaky and twisted characters, as opposed to all the California sunshine-bleached P.I. shows of the time, full of shiny happy people.

But for all the noirish hints, I’m guessing the producers realized the show would appeal to kids–hence the comic book tie-ins by Dell.


  • “One thing I remember is him having a knife in a contraption up his sleeve. When he needed to, he would swing his arm real fast, and the knife would slide down into his palm — ready for action. I don’t recall him ever actually using it on people, but every episode featured a martial arts type fight with lots of karate stuff, which was the really cool part.”
    — Richard Garrett
  • “I was a big fan of the CAT. In my Southern California neighborhood we had our own club where we tried to recreate some of the more exciting feats of agility. Our headquarters was high up in a tree.”
    — Richard Nickerson
  • “I was around thirteen when the show was running and going to a Catholic grade school. Thomas Hewitt was my hero, so I showed up for school photo day in black slacks and a black turtle neck. I was excluded from the school photo by the head nun. This had the effect of making me feel even cooler! Those were the days…”
    Mike Breiding, Morgantown, West Virginia
  • “Thanks. I had a really hard time locating any information about this show. And maybe it wasn’t as good as my memory but I can still smell the smoke and burbon and I can hear the music coming out of Casa del Gato as Loggia went in so it definately had its impact. As did the intellect dominating force. Truly a sign of its times.”
    — William Schubert
  • “… one of my favorite TV shows. Thomas Hewitt Edward Cat was possibly the coolest customer on TV. Along with Honey West–the coolest babe on TV–it was also probably one of the last half hour dramas on t.v. Thankfully, Robert Loggia has always worked and is, in fact, still working, and still cool. Just wanted to say thanks.”
    — Bob Randisi


  • T.H.E. CAT
    (1966-67, NBC)
    26 30-minute episodes
    Created by Harry Julian Fink
    Writers: Harry Julian Fink, James D. Buchanan, Ronald Austin, Robert Hamner, Herman Miller, John O’Dea, Arthur Rowe, George F. Slavin, Stanley Adams, Jack Turley, Robert E. Thompson, Bernard C. Schoenfeld, Shimon Wincelberg,
    Directors: Boris Sagal, Maurice Vaccarino, Don McDougall, Harvey Hart, Sutton Roley, John Rich, Alan Crosland Jr., Herschel Daugherty, Joseph Pevney, Jacques Tourneur, Paul Baxley
    Produced by Boris Sagal
    Theme by Lalo Schifrin
    Starring Robert Loggia as T.H.E. CAT
    with R.G. Armstrong, Robert Carricart
    Guest stars: Robert Duvall, Ted Knight, James Whitmore, Michael Constantine, Henry Darrow Lloyd Bochner, John Dehner, Joseph Wiseman, Linda Day, Cesar Romero, John Colicos, Sally Kellerman, Victor Buono

    • “To Kill a Priest” (September 16, 1966)
    • “Sandman” (September 23, 1966)
    • “Payment Overdue” (September 30, 1966)
    • “Brotherhood” (October 7, 1966)
    • “Little Arnie From Long Ago” (October 14, 1966)
    • “None to Weep, None to Mourn” (October 21, 1966)
    • “Moment of Truth” (October 28, 1966)
    • “Marked For Death” (November 4, 1966)
    • “Crossing at Destino Bay” (November 18, 1966)
    • “To Bell T.H.E. Cat” (November 25, 1966)
    • “Curtains For Miss Winslow” (December 2, 1966)
    • “King of Limpets” (December 9, 1966)
    • “The System” (December 16, 1966)
    • “The Canary Who Lost His Voice23 December 23, 1966)
    • “Ring of Anasis” (December 30, 1966)
    • “Queen of Diamonds, Knave of Hearts” (January 6, 1967)
    • “A Hot Place to Die” (January 13, 1967)
    • “A Slight Family Trait” (January 20, 1967)
    • “If Once You Fail” (January 27, 1967)
    • “Design for Death” (February 3, 1967)
    • “Matter Over Mind” (February 10, 1967)
    • “Blood Red Night” (February 17, 1967)
    • “Ninety Per Cent Blue” (February 24, 1967)
    • “The Long Chase” (March 10, 1967)
    • “Twenty-One and Out” (March 24, 1967)
    • “Lisa” (March 31, 1967)


  • T.H.E. CAT
    (1967, Dell)
    4 issues,
    TV tie-ins, with photo covers
    Writers: Joe Gill
    Artists: Jack Sparling, Tony Tallarico

    • “The Diplomatic Dodge” (March 1967, #1)
    • “T.H.E. Cat and the Kidnaped Canary” (#1)
    • “How Many Lives are Left” (#1)
    • “The Cat and the Castle” (April 1967, #2)
    • “The Beatnik and the Masterpiece” (#2)
    • “Professional Sleuthing” (June 1967, #3)
    • “Goliath’s Cruise” (#3)
    • “Setenced from solitary” (3)
    • “The Czar’s Cat Caper” (October 1967, #4)
    • “The 14th Year!” (#4)
    • “The Furious Feline” (#4)
    (2013, Moonstone Comics)
    2 issues
    Based on characters created by G.G. Fickling & Harry Julian Fink
    Written by Trina Robbins
    Art by Silvestre Szilagyi
    Thomas teams up with G.G. Fickling’s Honey West.


  • A Girl and Her Cat (2014; Win Scott Eckert & Matthew Baugh)Buy this book
    A pastiche from Moonstone Comics that teams up Thomas with G.G. Fickling’s Honey West.


  • “T.H.E. Cat drove a customized mid-60s Corvette Stingray. AMT made a model kit of this.”
    — John Boyle


  • August 31, 2021
    THE BOTTOM LINE: Thomas Hewitt Edward Cat (get it?) was a former acrobat & “reformed” cat burglar turned one of the coolest eyes on TV. The parkour PI? 
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Mattieu Horak for the extra info.

One thought on “Thomas Hewitt Edward Cat (T.H.E. Cat)

  1. The summer of 1966 my parents took me on a cross country train trip to Virginia. In Chicago they bought me The CAT toy sleeve knife and pistol set. I wore the sleeve knife for years. It was a plastic switchblade dagger and an arm sheath. It didn’t work perfectly but when you pushed the button the blade pushed against the bottom of the sheath and came out handle first. It was awesome. The pistol was not as memorable. I recall it was a smaller version of a Walter. But I had so many guns I do not recall playing with it as much as the knife. After about a year the spring in the knife broke. And I replaced it with a rubber band. I kept it working for awhile longer until the button mechanism broke and the toy was done for. Keeping that knife working started a life long engineering career and an interest in all things mechanical. The CAT, James Bond, James West, The Men from Uncle made the mid 60s an awesome time to be a kid. There is John Wick, but few other hero’s today.

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