LOVE/HATE returned to Irish TV screens last week with a whopping 970,000 viewers – but it wasn't the sight of Darren's dead body or the return of a brain-injured Tommy that had the nation talking – it was the gunning down of Cleo the cat, who made a live appearance on The Late Late Show on Friday night.
All anybody wanted to know last week was if Cleo was alive and, if so, where was this cat?
The Sunday Independent tracked down an alive and well Cleo to his Co Wicklow home and spoke exclusively to his handler, animal wrangler Eddie Drew.
Eddie, who could not make it to Montrose on Friday, explained the controversy behind the week that was and what really happened on the Love/Hate set.
The cat man, who runs Copsewood Aviaries in Kilmacanogue, told this newspaper that he was "happy to introduce Cleo to the public and to talk about the scene".
But he said RTE did not want any further comment passed on the fictional shooting of the cat and had told him not to speak to the media during the week.
The controversy kicked off when Ryan Tubridy's radio show team tried to make contact with Cleo and Eddie. RTE's desire to reduce the drama around the cat meant that neither Mr Drew nor the cat's owner were in position to talk to the radio show.
Tubridy described RTE bosses as "utterly ridiculous" for refusing to let either of them speak with him on his 2FM show.
He told his listeners it was "frankly hilarious" that the cat's identity not be revealed to the public.
After a week of furore, Cleo the cat made a live appearance on the Late Late on Friday night. All did not go smoothly, however, and the cat bounded out of the broadcaster's arms to a burst of laughter from the audience.
Tubridy remarked that he was "better with children" and that Cleo "just got a little creeped out by the lights and the cameras and everything".
Mr Drew, who has over 15 years of experience handling hundreds of animals, reiterated that Cleo "was in no way harmed and was home happy with its owner two hours after his scene was complete".
He has provided all types of animals, ranging from monkeys to geese and from ravens to goats, for many TV and film productions over the years.
Mr Drew told the paper about Cleo's day on the Love/Hate set saying he was "well taken care of during his big scene".
Cleo was so well minded that his owner "sent him off with some of his favourite treats," explained Mr Drew.
Asked about how he handles animals on sets, he said that "friendship and trust" were key as well as some "cupboard-love, ie food".
Mr Drew admitted that he kept "treats in his pocket" for the Wicklow feline whilst working on Love/Hate and that he personally kept him warm and safe at all times.