Internet Cat Video Festival draws 10,000 fans

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A cat adopted from Seattle Animal Shelter, who has millions of YouTube fans, has catapulted to even greater stardom when a video starring him won top honors at the Internet Cat Video Festival at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

Ripley is a beautiful tuxedo cat

Ripley at the Seattle Animal Shelter seems to have star quality, too!

The winning video “Henri 2: Paw de Deux,” will air during the season finale of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell” at 8 p.m. (E/P), Saturday, Sept. 8.

According to a New York Times article, the nonprofit art center had no idea what it was in for when the idea of a cat video film festival was first broached by Katie Hill, a program associate at the center. First, about 10,000 cat videos poured in. The staff narrowed the number to 79, no easy job, that were actually shown at the festival.

The entries have been entertaining to Petfinder staff and their friends. “Sky Mall Kitties” made one staffer laugh because she had seen many of the images on her last flight.  Other favorites included:  “Les Vieux Cons” and of course, “Simon’s Cat in Cat-Man-Do.”

Then there were the crowds. Maybe, the staff thought, a hundred people would show up. They were wrong. About 10,000 fans attended, spilling from the lawn to the streets. According to the Times, one visitor drove five hours from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “I think you’re going to see a lot of copycat versions of this. No pun intended,” she told the Times.

I think she’s right.  It could even be a great fundraiser for shelters and rescue groups. Based on the hilarity at the event, it could put some real fun into fundraising — but then most events involving our four-legged friends are that way.

Read more about Henri and his video.

Check out Jackson Galaxy’s review of a few of the videos on the Bites @ Animal Planet blog!

Tell us! What are your favorite cat videos?