With all of this working from home going on during the coronavirus crisis, what a day on the job looks like can vary wildly. From pajama bottoms paired with business-casual tops to family members passing by constantly, the “culture” of a company has greatly diversified to include each employee’s immediate surroundings.
But one difference that most people can embrace is the appearance of adorable intruders: sometimes dogs, sometimes cats, sometimes babies. Everyone seems to be in a more relaxed frame of mind, and seeing something cute pop on-screen during a video conference isn’t as embarrassing as it might have otherwise been.
For Jeff Lyons of Evansville, Indiana, the intrusion wasn’t just welcome — it became an integral part of his work.
The chief meteorologist for WFIE-TV, Lyons happens to own (or be owned by, as many people with cats claim) a large, fluffy cat named Betty.
Betty rules the roost (again, as many people with cats can confirm is standard), and when Lyons’ office became the dining room, according to WFIE, Betty didn’t feel compelled to change her habits, and ended up marching in on one of Lyons’ recordings.
“W.C Fields famously said: ‘Never work with kids and animals,'” Lyons shared in a Facebook post on April 13. “I should heed that advice, but I think I’ve been replaced. Maybe the better quote is ‘Claim victory and depart the field.'”
Viewers loved it. Betty became a star, and soon she was featured alongside Lyons during the forecast — but decidedly on her own terms.
“Even with all of your kind comments, Betty doesn’t seem to be handling her new-found fame very well!” Lyons wrote after a particularly trying segment in which Betty clearly did not want to be in the limelight.
“Of course, she’s 10 years old, so can be a little crabby when I put her out of her comfort zone…but then again, aren’t we all?”
Reddit thought I would like to see a weatherman working from home. Reddit was right. pic.twitter.com/7ckvoJEUAC
— Scoots (@scootertooter7) April 15, 2020
“Co-Weathering with Betty,” read a post Wednesday. “Two hams on the screen and a little ham on my fingers made it work…at least for awhile. Why do I get the feeling I’m performing tricks for the cat instead of the other way around?”
“After 11 years of lounging around the house, I’m putting this cat to work…for you !” he updated on Thursday, along with a video that had Betty giving the forecast. “There’s a fine line between clever and creepy…what do you think of this format for some actual useful information? I helped her with the forecasting, if that makes any difference!”
— Brendan McCallum (@FoldMorePaper) April 16, 2020
There was even a Facebook Live Q&A hosted by Lyons and featuring the now-famous feline. An Instagram account was created for her, too, allowing her devotees to follow more of her antics.
Betty has been seen all over the globe, which is pretty good reach for a cat that works from home.
Whether she’ll remain a staple in Lyons’ work remains to be seen, but for now, everyone seems to be enjoying her presence and her suitably catty attitude.
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