The Truth About The Iconic Cat From Coronation Street's Opening Credits

As far as iconic intros go, the "Coronation Street" theme is certainly up there. The music has stayed with the Queen's favorite British soap opera since it first aired in 1960 (via Yorkshire Evening Post), with a little revamp in 2010, per The Guardian. What has changed, however, is the montage that accompanies the theme song. Starting in black and white, the opening title sequence to "Corrie" has introduced viewers to the fictional town of Weatherfield for over seven decades. While the street has seen a lot of changes over the years (via Coronation Street Wiki), there's one aspect that has remained the same since 1976.

When the sequence was updated for the fourth time, a vital member of "Corrie"s history was introduced — the mysterious cat. Seen basking in the sunshine on a shed roof, the shot of the cat was initially relegated to the cutting room floor. But when producer Bill Podmore joined the show in 1976, he immediately fell in love with the image (via Back On The Street).

The identity of the original Coronation Street cat remains a mystery

In his 1990 book "Coronation Street — The Inside Story," Bill Podmore recalled the moment he "found the perfect clip" and why he wanted to include it in the opening credits. "It looked exactly as though it had contentedly sat down to watch the programme, and from that day the Coronation Street cat became almost as famous as any character on the show," he wrote (via Back On The Street). While the cat's identity was unknown, it didn't stop locals from saying it was their cat. "It provided us with an enduring mystery, too," Podmore continued. "Any number of people, impostors all, insisted they were the owners, but its true identity was never discovered."

When the title sequence was given a refresh in 1990, it was clear that there had to be a cat in there somewhere. So the ITV daytime show "This Morning" held auditions for a new feline, and the role eventually went to the tabby tom cat Frisky, per The Mirror. Frisky would appear in over 1000 episodes before the seventh change to the title sequence in 2002 (via Coronation Street Wiki), a year after Frisky sadly passed away.

Frisky the cat became Coronation Street's mascot for a decade

According to The Mirror, Frisky lived an impressive 14 years before being diagnosed with inoperable cancer in 2000. After he was put to sleep, Frisky's ashes were put on auction for charity and sold for £700, per The Guardian. With additional fees, this total eventually settled at £844.

When Frisky's ashes were initially put on auction, it was believed they would only sell for around £150. But fans of the soap bumped that price up considerably, leading to a bid for £700 by an unidentified buyer with the proceeds going to the UK charity Cats Protection. "It is one of the quirkiest lots we've ever sold," auctioneer Chris Albury told The Guardian, "up there with one of Napoleon's teeth and a lock of Jane Austen's hair. We've had a lot of interest worldwide from as far away as New Zealand."

Following Frisky's death, the "Coronation Street" titles were updated once again with a new cat in tow. The identity of the feline remains unclear, but the tabby was later replaced with a black cat, followed by a ginger cat in 2010.