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"The Cat and the Claw: Part I" is the thirteenth episode of the first season of Batman: The Animated Series. It's the first of a two-part episode and marked the show's debut on television, airing on September 5, 1992 on Fox Kids.

Plot[]

Out in uptown Gotham City, Catwoman sneaks into an expensive apartment and steals a valuable necklace using her cat, Isis to see the security lasers and slip past them. However, Batman is watching and chases after the culprit. Catwoman is intrigued but leaps from the building top and uses her whip and acrobatic abilities to flee. Batman easily manages to catch up with her and chases her over the rooftops of Gotham. The chase eventually comes to an end in an alleyway and Catwoman attacks. She manages to bury him under trashcans and runs, but Isis is almost run over in the middle of the road. Fortunately for Isis, Batman saves her. Catwoman blows a cat whistle and calls Isis up.

Later, a charity auction for animal preserves is held for a date with the most eligible bachelors in Gotham, and next on the list is Bruce Wayne. The bidding goes on for a while and finally ends when Selina Kyle, a sponsor for a mountain lion preserve, bids ten thousand dollars for him. Bruce is delighted to be her date, but Selina is more interested in saving the animals. Bruce insists on dating her and she agrees to go to lunch with him.

Outside, police give chase to a military truck holding army weapons. Bruce disappears and Batman takes the scene apprehending the criminals and stopping the robbery. One of the criminals manages to escape unnoticed into the sewers but the other two are captured. Commissioner Gordon goes to talk to Batman and tells him that the leader of a terrorist group, known only as Red Claw, is in Gotham and there are no leads.

The next day, Selina and her secretary Maven, talk about the impending date but Selina is more interested in Batman. Just as Wayne comes up, Selina's lawyer calls up, and says that a deal has been called off. She had been looking to purchase land for a mountain lion preserve but Multigon International has taken it. Wayne offers to help and gets her a meeting with the company chairman, Stern. However, he refuses to help to claim that his company is going to build a major resort. Selina is angry claiming that the land is in the middle of nowhere. Mr. Stern claims that Multigon will "take care of the cats one way or another". Selina is outraged and threatens to have environmentalists alerted so that the company will be kept on close watch. After the meeting, however, Stern privately speaks with a fearsome woman, Red Claw herself, and voices his concerns. Red Claw orders Selina tailed, unwilling to allow their plans to be put in jeopardy.

That night Batman grills a mob boss for information on Red Claw. Meanwhile, Catwoman sneaks into Multigon and seeks information. While this goes on, Red Claw talks to her men about a train that will be transporting a viral plague that Interpol took from her organization. Just outside the room, Catwoman searches through Multigon's hidden safe and takes pictures of their files. Unfortunately for her, she's being surveyed and Red Claw emerges with her men looking to kill the intruder. Catwoman manages to escape into the air vents but is pursued by thugs. Fortunately, she manages to leave cat-shaped spikes all over the shaft stopping her pursuers. She then escapes up an elevator shaft, but Red Claw and her thugs follow her to the roof. Catwoman jumps to a ledge on another building, but Red Claw shoots the ledge with an explosive nearly causing her to fall to her death. However, Batman saves Catwoman. Catwoman is grateful to him and tries to convince Batman to let her go but Batman refuses. Angered, Catwoman throws him from a building and runs off.

With her mission complete, Catwoman returns home. She tells Maven about what she discovered and believes that she'll save the mountain lions. Unbeknownst to her, however, one of Red Claw's thugs is watching and sees her unmask herself.

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