March 06, 1989 12:00 PM

At one time or another, PEOPLE has gotten up close and personal with almost all creatures great and small, not to mention huge and hairy, wild and noble, six-legged and repulsive, and slimy but edible. For animal magnetism, no one came close—except maybe Mel Gibson.

The Northwest’s answer to Willard Scott, Bob the Weather Cat, above, is the paws that refreshes on Portland, Ore., TV station KATU (7/8/88) Samoyed starlet Tundra the Wonder Dog, above right, denied that she had ever been seen lunching at Spago with Warren Beatty (11/19/84).

Koko, the sign-language proficient gorilla, and her pet kitten, Banana, gazed across the evolutionary gap and found friendship (4/22/85).

Twiggy, below, a purebred Chinese Crested, won the Long Beach, Calif., Ugly Dog Contest (4/22/85).

Ali Baba and owner Dean Lund, above, won $10,000 in a pet-and-pal look-alike contest (11/3/86). Chicago’s Famous Fido’s Doggie Deli, left, stocks canine cuisine (4/9/84).

Gimme a little fish, will ya, huh? Trainer Alysoun Seacat and walrus Nuka nuzzled at the New York Aquarium (8/10/87). Above, an offended feline took 101 Uses for a Dead Cat author Simon Bond to the wall (7/27/81).

Photographer Tony Mendoza, right, had eyes only for his main model, Ernie (12/9/85).

Accompanied by his Lab, Kleberg, painter Jamie Wyeth went snout-to-snout with his pet pig, Baby Jane (3/5/84).

Kate Jackson defended her home turf with the help of a couple of husky pals, Catcher and Rocket (4/12/82).

Nine flamingos got the sack while Marine World/ Africa USA moved them 55 miles to a new home in Vallejo, Calif. (12/2/85).

When dogs failed to deter nighttime thieves, Lambert, Miss., auto salvager Fletcher Haynes discovered that nothing was meaner than a junkyard ostrich (8/29/83).

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