Ottawa to welcome cat video festival

An Internet Cat Video Festival in Oakland, CA. Photo: Mark Hogan, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

An Internet Cat Video Festival in Oakland, CA. Photo: Mark Hogan, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

So, there’s this thing called “Just for cats“, which quips that it offers “all the cattiness of the film fest, but with cats.” As their website puts it, the effort:

…honours our favorite pet with a masterfully curated compilation reel from the Walker Art Center.

Now there’s no need to search for funny cat videos alone – together we can enjoy the best clips up on the big screen, and help raise money for cat welfare in Canada too

The Canada-based Just for Cats tour involves showings at various locations to raise money for animal-welfare organizations. Ottawa Citizen arts reporter Peter Simpson says that’ll be coming to Ottawa sometime later this year. But hey, why wait? Start your viewing now. And make sure you enter your video for possible screening too, if you reside in Ottawa.

This all began as an Internet Cat Video Festival the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Their first screening in 2012 was written up by the New York Times as a giant hit. Subsequent screenings have also been very popular, according to this 2013 Walker press release:

Over the last year the Festival has spawned an international tour including events in Boston, San Diego, Austin, Memphis and Portland with upcoming festivals in Vienna, Austria and Jerusalem, and numerous lecture and conference presentations including SXSW and TEDx.

As Simpson writes in his always-fun Big Beat arts blog:

The Toronto date on the cross-Canada tour in April will be hosted by Laureen Harper, wife of the prime minister, who is a strong advocate for stray animals and shelters. If Mrs. Harper attends the Ottawa cat film festival, one must hope she brings her husband along, for nothing says cute and cuddly like Stephen Harper.

There are no shortage of cat videos for programmers to choose from. It’s widely held that cat videos account for almost all internet traffic, except for the small bits taken up by porn and pirated music.

His post includes links to many favorite cat videos, with appropriate commentary:

The cat numbers are staggering, and while people may think Grumpy Cat is the star, my lazy research shows that “Surprised Kitty (original)” is the leader, with more than 73 million views. And to think that all the Surprised Kitty does is to react when its belly is tickled. (Why does this remind me of Rob Ford?)

Youtube numbers aside, Grumpy Cat is the current star, with TV appearances from CNN to TMZ.  to commercials, etc. Grumpy Cat’s sole skill is an ability to scowl,which seems a genuine talent when compared to Lil Bub, whose is famous for letting her tongue hang out of her mouth. (Er, Rob Ford, again.) The zenith of cat videos is “Lil Bub Meets Grumpy Cat,” which is like Alien vs. Predator with naps.

I don’t see a working/direct link for how to enter your own cat video for the upcoming Ottawa event, but I gather there is a way. Here’s how that’s described on the Just for cats Facebook page:

Want to See Your Cat on the Festival’s Big Screen and Win Free Tickets?

To enter, post your cat video on our wall and tell us what city you are in (you must live in the city of the festival). Ask your friends and family to like your video. The top10 most liked videos will be juried and a winner announced. The winning video will be shown at your local festival!

Nice videos only, no hurting the kitties.

Our cat is getting on in years. Her antics are not terribly video worthy. But I tell you she is a world champion at detecting clean clothes and taking a nap on them. And the clever dear is black and white so her hair will show on anything. (True fact: she is in my lap as I type this post.)

What amusing (or not-so-funny) things does your cat do?

Christmas morning photo of "Spot", who cannot object to being a camera guinea pig. Photo: Lucy Martin

Spot says: “Did someone do laundry? My nap throne awaits!” Photo: Lucy Martin

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