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The 2014 Internet Cat Video Festival, A Near Purr-fect Affair

By Allison Kelley in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 8, 2014 3:30PM


We were asked to refrain from clapping at Metro Saturday because the guest of honor did not like loud noises. When Internet cat celebrity Lil Bub took the stage, the audience raised their fingers, silently rubbing them together in respectful reverence.

This is the kind of thing you’ll only see at a cat-themed festival.

The Internet Cat Video Festival 2014 took over Metro Saturday with showings beginning at 1:30 p.m. and running until 10:30 p.m. The event, which began in 2012 as an outdoor “exhibit” at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota aims to take the online cat craze offline in order to build a community. Saturday's festival also served to raise awareness and funds for older and special needs adoptable cats. All proceeds benefitted the rescued cats and kittens of Tree House Humane Society and Chicago Cat Rescue.

Like a true film festival, the Internet Cat Video Festival presents videos by category including humor, vintage, action adventure and musical. The films are the YouTube videos you’ve LOLed to at your desk and shared with coworkers. There was the yoga cat who climbs her owner and defies gravity by remaining on her body throughout a series of poses.

If you can equate applause to number of views, the audience’s fervor far exceeded the video’s 19,000+ views. Then there was the video of the mailman who tries in vain to deliver mail into a mail slot, while a cat swats it out on the other side of the door. This video won the grand prize on America’s Funniest Home Videos and has received over 200,000 views.

In the audience at the Metro, cat owners hooted and hollered in recognition. Squeals of, “Princess does that!” could be heard above the roar of the cat people. Lil Bub had been taken off stage immediately following her introduction so the audience was free to express their delight fully.

To close out the fest, a special recognition was given to Tara the Hero Cat who became an overnight success after intercepting a dog attack on her little boy owner. Golden Kitty Awards were given out, with top honors going to “8 Signs of Addiction,” a video that chronicles a cat and its obsession with its toy.