I love funny animal cartoons or shows with anthropomorphic animals and dress up like them. In other words, I'm a furry. One of them is Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats. I love Cleo, and I think she's cute! However, I feel odd when watching episodes of the show after the experience I had.
It started one hot summer day, I was watching an episode of Garfield & Friends on my Wii U's Netflix thing until I noticed, out of my peripheral vision, that the mailman had arrived and put some stuff in my mailbox as usual and left. I paused the episode to go see what I got in the mail. Among the bills and cards and letters was a Maxwell recordable VHS tape. I took it inside.
An Japanese friend of mine who used to work on the show sent me an letter along with the tape, and the letter was attached to the tape. “You will not believe this,” it said. “Found this in my basement recently.”
Intended to be the series finale in case a replacement for Mel Blanc could not be found to his declining health, "Sonja's Suicide / Cleo, You Have AIDS" (which is the name of the episode's two segments) was secretly produced in an unused room at the Tokyo Movie Shinsha studio in Japan and in the basement of DiC's American studio in California, with the show's head of overseas animation production imitating Mel Blanc's Heathcliff voice in order to voice Heathcliff. Pressed for time, the show's executive producer reused a VHS tape containing off-air recordings of Small Wonder to make the only known copy of the episode. DiC employees in various positions; executives from Chris-Craft Television, McNaught Syndication Co., Lexington Broadcast Services, and the United Entertainment Group; and employees at the local TV stations that aired the show then demanded to see the finished product, but it was only shown to then-CEO and head of basically everything at the studio, Andy Heyward. I can't imagine why.
I went down to my food cabinet and got some Munchos potato crisps and a can of Diet Pepsi with Original Sweetener Blend. I got out my VCR, plugged it in, and slammed the tape in. I hit play and I noticed that it started off with some sort of station ident. First off, after a bit of a Small Wonder episode, it showed a black screen with the text "This episode should not be viewed during pregnancy or before operating heavy machinery. 18 and up only!" which was in Comic Neue. Then, some sort of episode production number came up which read "15-60-75: Season 3, Episode 1". What? The show never had a 3rd season! It then cut to the opening theme which played as normal. The title card used for Sonja's Suicide was the "Walk On" card showing Mungo about to step on a lying down Heathcliff. The copyright read "© D.I.C. 666".
The episode began with Heathcliff trying to woo Sonja as normal. Suddenly, Hector bursted in. Hector was wearing a Zorro costume and had an AK-47! What the hell? I looked back and suddenly, I heard a noise coming from the TV. It was Hector loudly shouting "DIE YOU ORANGE BASTARD!" I looked back at the TV and saw Heathcliff being dragged out into the road and being shot at by Hector right in front of the Cadillac. Then, the tape went to static, and I got a "No Signal" screen thrice. Being a pro at it, I used the VCR's remote to adjust the tuning until the picture became steady. When the picture came back, I saw Sonja. She said "I miss Heathcliff! I feel... I feel... That's it!" She then jumped into her owner's limousine and drove it like a maniac to a military surplus store. She stole a AK-12, drove back, and then placed it into her mouth, and was about to pull the trigger, when the episode cut to black with a gunshot sound and the sound of a body slamming against the ground with blood splattering.
The commercial break bumpers played as normal, and then it went to another episode. This time, the music played, but there was no card, just white text reading "Cleo"
It then showed Cleo, Roxie, and Doxie having a lesbian threesome, and then cut to a black screen again. This time, it showed Cleo at a AIDS clinic. The doctor then said "Cleo, you have AIDS." It then cut to Cleo in a hospital bed. Riff-Raff asked Cleo if she was going to be okay, but then Cleo said "No Riff-Raff, I'm going to the big litterbox in the sky." She then flatlines and dies. The episode then fades out.
The pet care tip was just the one where Heathcliff talks about caring for pregnant cats, except it's in G major, the picture is warped, and there's someone screaming softly the whole time.
Finally, the full version of the theme song plays over a longer-than-usual credit scroll superimposed over the Catillac Cats mourning at Cleo, Sonja, and Heathcliff's funerals, scenes from other animated series including those not made by DiC, and Riff-Raff banging his head against the Cadillac. Not to mention, all the names were replaced with things like "Renew This", "The Show Must Go On", and "Please Don't Cancel Me".
And that's why Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats never got renewed for a third season.