RTE’S Ryan Tubridy ignored the old adage to never work with children or animals at his peril, as he enjoyed an all too brief encounter with the ‘Love/Hate’ cat.
Tubridy was left smiling, yet empty-handed, on the ‘Late Late Show’ set as famous feline Cleo promptly scarpered out of his arms and into the wilds of the studio.
The machine-gunning of the cat in the opening scene of the new series of the gangland drama ensured the black and white cat was the most talked about feline of the week.
It sparked a flood of complaints to the national broadcaster.
“This is Cleo,” he said, as he took the moggy in his arms. “Now I’m better with children I’ll be honest with you...Cleo’s somewhere, and she’s fine,” he quipped as the cat scarpered to laughter from the audience.
“She just got a little bit freaked out by all the lights. She was probably more comfortable making television drama, being shot at.”
The two-year-old cat was rescued by Greystones Kitty Hostel from the side of the road two years ago, and ‘Love/Hate’ was her first acting job.
A spokeswoman for RTE last night stated no animal had been harmed during the making of the fourth series.
The cat was on set at all times under the supervision of experienced animal handler, Eddie Drew. A fishing line had been attached to the cat’s collar to get it to move in the right direction on set, and also to stop it.
The spokeswoman explained the impact blood splatter scene by viewers was created through computer-generated images as the footage was edited and no fake blood was used near the cat.
The cat was given an anaesthetic by a vet to ensure it ‘played dead’ for the cameras, which had also been used in previous episodes.
A producer said the cat had been checked and was in “good health” after the scene.