Every time a cat or dog sneaks onto a television set and interrupts a presenter there is sheer delight in the audience. These rare events go viral and are discussed endlessly. Why? Because they inject life and entertainment into dull weather forecasting or news reporting. We already know that companion animals are good for productivity in the workplace.
So why don’t television companies use cats and dogs as a matter or policy on some of their presentations to spice them up? I’ve mentioned presenting the weather because there is a classic example of a cat making the weather forecast a viral phenomenon.
Her name is Betty. She’s the feline companion of Indiana weatherman Jeff Lyons. Remarkably and with great foresight Lyons’ news director said that he should put Betty on air as he petted her. The reason why Lyons was petting his cat and that the opportunity arose is because during this era of the pandemic and keeping social distance Lyons was working at home.
So the Channel 14 weather man duly obliged. While presenting his extended weather forecast he held his cat in his arms. Lyons recognised the benefits of working from home. Although, he’d rather be in the television studies at Channel 14, but I wonder if he has started something new. A new way of presenting the weather.
‘She’s gone viral, my nieces and nephews tell me’, said Lyons. This is great free publicity for Channel 14 and Betty now has her own Instagram page as befitting a cat celebrity. She also has a special pedestal to sit on during the weather forecasts. Does she stay on it? Lyons believes that she’ll be more difficult to handle now that she is a TV star.
There’s an underlying serious message here. I genuinely do believe that it is possible and beneficial for some cats and dogs, those with the right character, to occasionally accompany their human companion on the television if he or she is presenting a program. Or in any other suitable context.