ANIMAL STARS QUARANTINE THE OF Sheltering in place making you restless? Your animal is getting squirrelly (or catty, or poochy) too. Hence all those viral videos of pets upstaging Zoom calls. “Owners are spending more time with their pets and rewarding attention-seeking behavior,” says veterinary behaviorist Dr. Rachel Malamed. “So when we start ignoring them, they try harder to get attention.” Here are the critters who’ve become stars. —RUTH KINANE Brody STAR TURN WHAT’S NEXT FUN FACT During an at-home broadcast, Tampa meteorologist Paul Dellegatto found himself mapless when 1-year-old Brody futzed with his weather graphics. The pup then perched on his owner’s lap and yawned dramatically before moving on to Craig the cameraman. Viral fame notwithstanding, Dellegatto has turned down requests to bring Brody to the office. “I can see him chewing a cable and turning the whole station off.” “He’s been glued to says Dellegatto. “The entire time we were watching, he’d come in and join us. Maybe he has a crush on Ruth [Julia Garner]?” Golden retriever Ozark,” STAR TURN Zipper WHAT’S NEXT FUN FACTS During a live news report, Zipper, 8, pounced at the chance to be on camera. “I heard her jump on the kitchen counter,” says Phoenix reporter Kim Powell. “I was nervous she was going to walk across my keyboard and end my live shot, so I just had to let it happen.” Zipper returned for a pandemic pet segment but had performance anxiety. “She doesn’t like my news voice,” says Powell. No future projects are planned. Zipper enjoys playing fetch with Kim’s hair ties. (Her feelings on hair balls? No comment.) Always a diva, she will only drink tap water straight out of the faucet. Bengal mix Olive and Mabel STAR TURN FUN FACT WHAT’S NEXT As Cotter waits for his pups to “know their lines and hit their marks,” he’s parlaying their fame into raising money for Dogs for Good, a foundation for assistance dogs. BBC sportscaster Andrew Cotter decided to put his commentating skills to use by narrating Olive (left), 7, and Mabel’s, 3, daily adventures. Videos of the two with sportsstyle voice-overs scored more than 40 million views—and a retweet from Ryan Reynolds. “They have a million little foibles but nothing worth talking about,” says their owner. “Mabel is Olive’s half niece. Dull dogs.” Forty million rabid fans disagree. Labradors Betty STAR TURN WHAT’S NEXT FUN FACT Betty, 11, became an internet sensation when she wandered into her owner, Evansville, Ind., meteorologist Jeff Lyons’ broadcast. She soon became his 10 p.m. cohost. “Now I just throw on my jammie pants and do the weather with a cat in my hands,” says Lyons. The feline landed her own “Betty the Weather Cat” graphic, as well as pleas for branded merchandise and fan letters from viewers as far away as Armenia. Betty gives zero fox when it comes to trespassers. In her younger days, she won a standoff with a much larger fox, banishing him from the yard for good. Meow. Breed unknown, but possibly part Maine coon/part Norwegian Forest cat Furball Furniture Fad: Squirrel Picnic Tables If you build it, they will come. So Rick Kalinowski discovered when he made a miniature picnic table for squirrels in his backyard (near left). Thanks to a viral Facebook pic, Kalinowski has turned his hobby into a full-time business, filling about 100 orders daily. actor Peter Facinelli shared a similar creation on Instagram (right). “Since I can’t see my friends, I figured I’d invite some new ones over for dinner,” Facinelli says. “Anyone else going nuts these days?” All of us, Peter, all of us. Twilight JULY 2020 64 EW ● COM
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