And that's precisely what Kate McCann did!
Said to be the treasured toy of Madeleine McCann, Cuddlecat - for that was it's name, a soft toy, pink on the outside and stuffed with kapok on the inside, face craftily stitched to resemble feline features. Said to have been given to her as a present soon after she was born but the true origins of Cuddlecat's entry into the world is as mysterious as his claimed owners disappearance.
Not a very childlike name some might say, not soft toy friendly like Snuggles or Snuffles or Catkins but Cuddlecat it was, always well turned out for public appearances and never allowed out without accessories to enhance the part played. Ribbons, beads and even perhaps a hint of blusher for the ever watchful camera.
Cuddlecat was even said to have been washed on more than one occasion, to remove unpleasant odours caused by suncream and sand and perhaps dirt. Not treasured as the last thing a missing child had lovingly clutched, to preserve something that could never be replaced but washed and dried for it's first public appearance. Hardly surprising, you can't allow a superstar to appear in public anything but perfect - personal sentiment must be sacrificed for the greater cause, no matter what the cost.
Cuddlecat was never far from Kate McCann's side, from it's public debut early May 2007, until landing back in the UK early September 2007. Press conferences; photoshoots; interviews; studio sofas -there was Cuddlecat, before the camera taking centre stage. For four months Cuddlecut was a superstar, much sought after by the paparazzi, movie moguls and TV producers but alas, as any superstar will attest, showbiz is fickle - it's a harsh mistress with no room for sentimentality.
For his brief career, Cuddlecat could match the best of them. Tom, of Tom and Jerry fame, the dynamic Jerry for ever outwitting the wiley Tom cat. The swashbuckling Puss in Boots, always on the wrong side of the law. Top Cat, a thorn in the side of Officer Dibble on the beat. Even the Pink Panther if colour is to be considered. No longer superstars but recorded in the annals of showbiz, never to be forgotten - just as Cuddlecat will be in years to come. He did after all play a leading part in the greatest show on earth.
But Cuddlecats claim to fame, although short term in the public eye, spanned many faces aside from glamour. One very significant role was that of a murder mystery, where he was identified as a character of interest by the police investigating the mysterious disappearance of his adopted guardian, little Madeleine McCann. The arch enemy of every cat, including a cuddly cat, is the predatory canine species - the dog. One day Cuddlecat was going about his business as a celebrity star struck feline when two ferocious dogs came a visiting - looking for mischief.
How thorough were those dogs, how they sniffed every nook and cranny in search of some incriminating evidence that might lead to his mistress. How they howled and barked and sniffed some more - how he, Cuddlecat, was tossed into the air like a meaningless bit of rag. How they sniffed and prodded and yelled with a deafening echo of delight at their victory of conquering the victim of prey - Cuddlecat's days were numbered, no more was he to play the hero demanded by media attention. The most feared enemy of the cat, growling .... growling .... growling, like an empty stomach awaiting it's next meal. The heckles rise - fight or flight, the natural response to danger but Cuddlecat wasn't in command of his own destiny, he had to wait for arrangements to be made for his escape - his flight back to the UK.
With brazen affront did Kate McCann continue to flaunt Cuddlecat after the encounter with the pesky dog duo, that left a stain on his character never to be removed. Still he never left her side in public, what went on behind closed doors no one can know but Cuddlecat arrived safely back in the UK early September 2007 - his last public appearance as a feline superstar
Cuddlecat wasn't gifted with the customary cat prophesy of nine lives, Cuddlecat had but one life - one short life but well scripted and played-out until his performance was no longer of any benefit, until he no longer topped the box-office - until his usefulness was no more. If only Cuddlecats could speak - what a tale he would have to tell.
Still, that's show business for you!