Little Rock police arrested former child-star Morris the Cat yesterday on drug charges and outstanding warrants.
Arkansas State Police received a tip about a drug deal that was to take place at a Little Rock residence. Police staked-out the house and watched as Morris entered through the rear cat door.
DEA and ATF agents busted Morris and two others with two pounds of crystal meth, which has an estimated street-value of a half-million dollars.
In recent years, Morris has been arrested over 16 times for various crimes.
Morris the Cat was an icon in the 70s and 80s when he was spokescat for 9Lives® cat food. At the height of his career he made 12 million dollars a year, much of it from merchandising. (He was also head of a “swag” company that took in 22 million dollars in 1980.) Fame and fortune took their toll, and Morris got caught-up in a wild lifestyle.
During an appearance on the Opera show, he told viewers that he has a lot of regrets, saying, “I went from being an ordinary house cat to being the most recognized cat in the world. I wasn’t prepared to handle the temptations. I was out every night, singing in alleys, drinking cream, sniffing catnip, banging queen cats, going to dogfights. I had cars, houses…I would buy new furniture just so I could scratch it. I even had a pool, and I don’t like water. I had everything, but I wasn’t happy. I was trying to fill a void with drugs and alcohol and sex.”
In 1985, Morris’s world began to fall apart.
“I was depressed and overdosed on amoxicillin. When I woke up, I had only eight lives left. 9Lives canceled my contract. How could I represent 9Lives when I had only eight?”
Later that year, a string of cats filed paternity suits against Morris. He allegedly sired 94 kittens out of wedlock. Mounting legal fees forced him to sell his home in Bel Air. Meanwhile his drug addition took a turn for the worse.
“I started doing catnip. Everybody was doing it. I was working long hours…sometimes three or four hours a day. I wasn’t sleeping enough. I got hooked. Then I graduated to coke, meth and, finally, heroin. I ended up broke and living on the streets. I had lost everything.”
In a tell-all story in Cat Fancy magazine, Morris said things turned around when he found God.
“I was doing anything to get money—stealing, prostitution, selling drugs. I had mange and fleas. I didn’t clean my coat. I remember the night that I hit rock bottom. Some mice called and said they wanted a cat dancer. It was so they could humiliate me, as it turned out, because the party was at my old house. My house! I didn’t go in. I knew I had to change my ways.”
Morris fell-off the radar soon after the Cat Fancy article was printed and, until this recent arrest, had not been seen for the last three years. Family and friends feared that he had been hit by a car or locked in a garden shed during one of his late-night benders.
If convicted, Morris the Cat could face 60 years in federal prison.