Originally a comic strip created by George Gately in 1973, Heathcliff’s TV debut came in the form of the 1980 weekly Heathcliff and Dingbat. Here, television audiences were introduced to the pugnacious kitty, his well-meaning owners the Nutmegs, girlfriend Sonja, and father Pops (always in convict stripes, undoubtedly suggesting the origin of Heathcliff’s predisposition to fish theft and other petty crime). Everyone worked together in a determined battle against numerous neighborhood adversaries (Spike the bulldog, milkmen, dogcatchers, etc.) Joining Heathcliff in the half hour show were a quirky band of monster pals— Dingbat the vampire dog, Sparerib the skeleton, and Nobody the bodiless pumpkin—who starred in a series of four- and six-minute vignettes. This 13-episode show contained four segments: two "Heathcliff" episodes and two of "Dingbat and the Creeps."