But during summers in South Florida, the chicas continued making videos: "Pasion Prohibida," a spoof of telenovelas; and one where they surprise rapper Pitbull in his dressing room during a taping of the Spanish-language talk show, "Cristina." That 2009 video has almost 200,000 views.

"Chonga'' video success motivates them today, as they pursue work in film, TV shows and theater. They appeared in "Hamlet" at GableStage earlier this year. And they dream of joining NBC's "Saturday Night Live" one day.

"The popularity gave us that extra push in other things we wanted to do,'' said Davila.

"When I knock on agents' doors, they know who the Chonga Girls are," added Di Lorenzo, also 23. "It's a great icebreaker."

Venus the Cat

This Broward County cat sure is two-faced.

Venus is a half-black tortoiseshell and half calico kitty with one green and one blue eye. Her unique look has caught the attention of YouTube users — about 2.2 million of them. The cat's most watched video shows her on a carpet in front of a sliding glass door as she lazily licks herself.

"It's the most boring video that I have of her,'' said Venus' owner, Christina, who declined to provide her last name. She lives in north Broward County with her husband and three children and has 12 videos of Venus, "but that's the one that went viral."

Venus shot into Internet stardom when someone posted a picture of the cat online. The photo drew a million views within 24 hours.

"I knew if I ever put her out there, she would grab the world. She is so unique-looking and beautiful. I was perfectly happy with her not being famous,'' said Christina, who adopted Venus from a farm in North Carolina.

But after she read comments that her cat look photoshopped, Christina built a Facebook page with photos she had shot herself.

"Even that wasn't enough, people said her pictures were doctored.'' So she decided to upload video of Venus last August.

Venus became digital catnip. Last summer, she appeared on NBC's "Today" show. And in April, she was featured in National Geo Wild's "World's Weirdest Oddities." The cat's Facebook page has more than 120,000 followers.

"She is absolutely the sweetest cat. She is a snuggler,'' said Christina, who has two other cats.

Venus' family say they haven't profited yet from the cat's fame. They recently signed a licensing deal to make plush stuffed dolls of Venus. Those should go on sale in October.

"We do hope that in the future there will be offers for products or packaging deals,'' added Christina. "We would love for something like that to happen."

Staff researcher Barbara Hijek contributed to this report.

johnnydiaz@tribune.com, 954-356-4939