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The Resident


A move from the countryside to town leaves a retired lady prey to a cat named Evil and a young girl who forcefully moves in with her!



Air Dates

  • First Run - January 15, 1974
  • Repeat - December 1, 1974
  • Repeat - December 10, 1978






52 Responses to Episode 0010

This episode features a nasty meowing cat and a manipulative young women playing mind games on an old lady. I always appreciate an old time radio show with loud cat sound effects. You had me at "meow."


Strange tale of anthropomorphism; this is the sort of story I would have fallen asleep during as a kid because I wouldn't have "gotten" it back then. I get it now, and it underscores why I hate cats so much. Psycho drama, with supernatural undertones.


Except that the characters in this story did not act like real cats at all. This story has nothing to do with cats as they really are. It's just a twisted, sick story written by someone who was most likely a cat-hater.


Good comment, Andy. Once you name a cat "Evil", its bound to predetermine his personality.


Well acted and engaging, but marred by a continuity problem. How do the cat and the young lady appear in the same place at the same time? The drama is well done in this episode. The supernatural components less so. Worth a listen despite that mild criticism.


"Evil spelled backwards is live . . . how vile." Love it!


Evil, live, vile... They're all the same letters, just a different order. :)


You opened the "veil" and solved the mystery.

Howard Gilman

Re continuity: yeah, I'm not sure I get it. Maybe there are two cats -- one is Viola, and the other (Evil) just happened along. Viola becomes so jealous that she wants to get rid of cat #2. Maybe Viola named cat #2 Evil because she disliked her from the start. . .and yet she wants Evil around as long as Evil prefers her to the old lady. Hmmmmm.

Susie Q.

Yes, it's two cats, one can shapeshift, the other (presumably) can't. You can tell this from the way Viola talks, the fact that she enjoys things like butter, meat, and eggs, her knowledge of Egyptian cat worship (as it was understood at the time), and the most obvious tell is her insisting on relaxing in the old lady's favorite chair, much the same way Evil did. Unfortunately, cats were viewed as snarky, nasty animals during the time this story was created.

Ms. Douglass

i listened to this one on the way to work halfway through and it had me disturbed for the day...the way she treated that old woman was like a sick dominatrix-submissive relationship.. made me feel sad that she was so lonely that she was willing to put up with abuse just for some human contact


Not really sure what this episode is about, but I enjoyed Loring's performance anyway


To Andy, If you hate cats because of how they are portrayed in this episode...then the young woman in this episode is pretty horrid, you probaly despise young woman. To hate makes you an ugly person.


You certainly nailed it on the head. It is precisely because of this episode that I hate cats. I remember telling my wife the day before I listened to this episode that we should get a houseful of cats because I love them so much. Then, after this episode, I changed my mind completely. I said "You know, I hate cats. And young women. I hate them, too. Let's found a cat and young woman pound, so that if we find them on the street, we can throw them in the pound!" My wife didn't go for the idea because she would then have to live in the pound, but I still have my dreams, by golly!


You decided that you hated cats just because of a weird story on the radio, which didn't even portray cats in a realistic way?


Andy sounds like an Epstein type character. Don’t hang your self now! PS-Cats are awesome and not at all like this! Dogs are vile, just read about them attacking their owners like the pit bulls!

Scooter D

A fearfully reclusive woman finds strength and courage after dealing with an interloper.

Janice M.

A retired woman moves from the city to the country and is tormented by a cat and a young woman who move in against the woman's will. The cat's name is EVIL.

Arnel C.

The predictable end is given a little twist with its unusual presentation. The cat is very annoying.

Jenn Jackson

I LOVE THIS ONE LOL THE SOUND OF THAT CAT DROVE ME CRAZY LOL Is it anything like the dog sound effects they use in other episodes that sound nothing like a dog?


An elderly woman moves to the country after living in the city. A stray cat (with the most annoying voice I've ever heard in my life!!!) and a young, but quite forward and domineering girl show up and make themselves at home in her house, despite her protests.

Mr. Moya

The bar b que chicken references made me hungry.


I'm still confused. Was the cat that strolled up at the very end of the episode, the daughter, or Evil? The daughter referred to in the letter, was the girl and the cat was just some other cat, right? Or was the daughter simply the physical manifestation of the cat, representing some sort of split personality? I enjoyed the show but I still don't understand what happened!


A whinnied old woman,and a bossy young one yell at each other while a cat in heat makes noise.

Ace O Heart

I agree with Reyx77 about the relationship, but it's true that some people put up with things like that because they are lonely otherwise - quite sad. I also agree that the cat sound was annoying - I think I could've done a better sound than they did on here and a bit more varied. Perhaps the cat helped the old lady realize that she did need someone to talk to, even if it was only the mailman.


I think many of you are missing some of the finer points- the old lady was initially like a cat, in fact at one point Viola scribed the cat and that was how the old lady always was, never getting attached, just watching people from afar, always wanting to be alone. At the end, the old lady became like a cat who "was in love"- she came to desire friendships, connection, warmth and caring for others. The only question is whether there really was a girl Viola, or whether it was her imagination, or whether the cat became its alter ego for a time. The cat at first was like the old lady, it wasnt friendly and wanted to be left alone. But then it grew an attachment to the old lady, and the old Lady began to grow an attachment for it and desire friendships.


Some cats can be standoffish, just like there are some humans who are as well. Cats are individuals, just like humans. However, most of them want affection and companionship, but just like humans, they have to develop love and trust first. Also, cats are very sensitive and they often know right away when someone is a "cat person" and they coming running to cat people to be petted, lol! They also know instinctively when someone doesn't like cats and they will tend avoid cat haters. They have a kind of "sixth sense" about who to trust and who not to. They often have good reason to be timid of some humans, who can be abusive and threatening.


Very well put Amy! Most people that hate cats have no real love or empathy. And thank you Melanie for your synopsis. It made me understand the episode much more in the depth of clarity

Scooter D

"Passive people need someone to tell them what to do. And then when they do it, they get a pat on the head [like a cat] and they are very, very happy."


I think that description fits a dog more than a cat. Dogs like being patted on the head for a job well done. Cats aren't as easy to control, lol!


This episode was a hot wet mess. What was up with the cat sound? #annoying


I LOVE the resident!!!! All time favorite.


This episode is truly creepy, scary, and mysterious. It can be interpreted on many levels and that's what I love about it.


Very eerie episode. I hope I'm never like this.


I too think it was one of the best episodes. If you put the cat sounds aside and listen to the performance of Joan Loring, you may see an amazing performance of a young sassy woman character by a 48 year old! Elspeth Eric's script was well done.


Totally fun episode. Despite, or perhaps especially, for being a cat lover. I agree that Joan Lorring bucks the usual CBSRMT trend of having older performers trying, with mixed results, to sound younger. She nailed it.

Kenneth Franconero

I love CBSRMT in general as a series. Most of the episodes are great, but there are a few terrible ones. This is definitely one of the WORST episodes ever! As a cat lover, I found the whole story disgusting. I hated the dialog about hurting the cat, and the weird psycho plot about the young girl forcing herself on the old woman. The story was really awful and creepy, but not in a good "I like to be scared" sort of way. It was more of an "eeew, I have to turn off the radio because I can't stand it for one more minute" sort of episode,lol! The worst part of all was the phony cat voice, which is absolutely unbearable to listen to!!! (I'm glad they started using real cat sound effects later on in the series.) Also, some of Elspeth Eric's episodes were really great and I love them, but many of her stories are really weird and disturbing, especially when they involve cats. I get the feeling that she really hated cats, based on the kind of stories she writes about them. I also get the sense that she truly loved dogs, which is fine by itself, but her biased in favor of dogs and against cats shows through her writing in a very irritating way.


I meant to say "her bias against cats" rather than her "biased against cats" which is grammatically wrong in this sentence, lol!


I thought this one was a good episode. The acting was very good as the woman was very annoying and unlikeable! :) I suppose that was the point.


I rate this episode ★★★☆☆ for AVERAGE. The plot sounded interesting, but Elspeth Eric's story was had a few bumps down the road. For starters, the antagonist was, for lack of a better word…"Bitchy." A villain just as cruel as Bryna Raeburn's character in #0236-THE STUFF OF DREAMS (also written by Elspeth Eric). Also, the surprising ending was predictable. Another way to title this would be "Living With Danger" or "Vile Viola." The sound effects of the footsteps, doors, birds chirping, doorbell, knapsack, wine glasses, pouring of the wine, paper bag, signing of the forms, kitchen appliances, water glass, and opening the letter were supportive. The music was hauntingly good, but needed more. If CBSRMT played the horror music while these characters were talking, it would give Fans goosebumps, just like in #0263-TILL DEATH DO US JOIN or #1245-THE JUDGE'S HOUSE. In our Host's Prologue, E.G. Marshall questions about the nature of danger & safety. In ACT-1, knowing it's hard to live with danger if you're old, a female, and alone. In ACT-2, after dealing with drama within the house, our Host states that 2 women living the same house never works out. I disagree; women can live together, just not these 2 particular characters. In ACT-3, we get the Climax of what happened to our characters, but no Resolution. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall quoted American Historian James Truslow Adams. Now onto our cast: Carmen Matthews (as Malvina Thripp), Joan Loring (as Viola), and Gilbert Mack (as Evil the Cat and the Mailman). SPECIAL NOTE: The CBSRMT Episode Guide Book made an error saying that Martin Newman played the Mailman, but he only did 1 episode: #0003-THE BULLET. Carmen Matthews was splendid as the protagonist. Joan Lorring's performance as the antagonist was OK, but a villain you'd hate with a passion. As for Gilbert Mack, his impersonation as the Cat purring and hissing was good, but the meowing parts were annoying. Jada Rowland played a cat in #0736-THE THERAPEUTIC CAT and she was "purrrrrrrfect" (also written by Elspeth Eric). This was Elspeth Eric's 1st episode written for CBSRMT and I'm glad that she improved her writing later on. For those that enjoy Cat stories on CBSRMT, check this one one out, but also check out #0002-THE RETURN OF THE MORESBYS, #0066-THE BLACK CAT, #0246-THE VELVET CLAWS, #0545-THE QUEEN OF CATS, #0649-THE CHILD'S CAT PAW, and #0736-THE THERAPEUTIC CAT. Also, this episode has commercials of Shop Right and Himan Brown announcing CBSRMT's address at Box 50, Radio City Station, New York, 10019. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0]


"What is the nature of danger? Is it a clear threat to our safety? Or is it a murky product of our imagination? And what is safety? Do we ever really possess it?" One of the few episodes I actually HATE with a passion, lol! (It's partly because of the horrible cat "meowing" by a human who couldn't do a cat meow to save his life, lol!) I also hate other aspects of the plot and dialogue. It is one of the worst episodes ever, and I find it totally insufferable, imo!


I have to agree. I can't listen to any of the cat or witch episodes while I'm trying to sleep. I'm starting them from the beginning while I work.


a very young Sarah-Jessica Parker was a cat in one of the later ones I think


True, and it was awful, lol! But they also used real cats in some episodes. (Well, she wasn't the cat in that episode, but whoever did the "cat" voice was awful.)


The sound effects were generally quite good over the course of the series, with the exception of the cat sounds. I don't know why they never found decent "meow" sound to use.


I love CBSRMT but I couldn't listen to any more of that phony cat noise -- and I love cats. It was just too irritating.


Well the cat sounds were not the best, but the storyline was interesting. In a world that seems to scream be independent, here is a story that shows as people age they realize they may have missed out on the more important things in life. We don't live on islands we need others.


This episode worked very well for me (live vile). A bit of a stretch that they forgot the cat but I can live with that.


All of these plays allow the listener to use their respective imaginations instead of relying on visual cues. The plays are, by enlarge, very well written and enacted. I used to listen to them when they started. I just wish these were still available on today's radio (21st century). Excellent entertainment for the mind.


Growing up in the 70s I remember listening to the CBS Radio Mystery Theater and if we were lucky could pick up various programs coming out of Chicago and Canada. I’m forever thankful to my mom for giving me an appreciation of so many wonderful shows.


Great story but the cat's meow was the most irritating thing I've ever heard.


I listened to the entire play. I hated it. This is the first episode that I have felt that so negative about. The tone of the cat made me feel ill. Viola was a monster. Malvina was so weak and easily abused. I would rate this as a 1 because the actors all did a good job and knew their lines.


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