This first short animated film for children by celebrated artist Sheila Graber was an experiment in the use of hand-inked and painted cels and backgrounds, processes first patented by American comic-strip cartoonist Earl Hurd with J.R. Bray in 1914. The mischievous characters, modelled on her nephew and pet cat, Whitey, are drawn with warm humour and flair, and the action takes place in the shadow of the docks and along the coast of the artists home town, South Shields.
The Boy and the Cat won the Movie Maker magazine Ten Best competition in 1974. Sheila Grabers animations were broadcast on the 1970s national childrens television programme, Clapperboard, and the award-winning 12 Days of Christmas was shown on BBC Look North in 1975. She gained an international reputation for the 1981 animations of Rudyard Kiplings Just So Stories for Nicole Jouve of Interama, the agent for The Magic Roundabout, who began to distribute her animations worldwide in 1977. Once a gifted amateur with improvised rostrum equipment, Sheila Graber went on to win several major awards from the Royal Television Society, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.