The Internet Cat Video Festival turned out to be full of people being cats and, well, cats being cats…
Many people seem to have a say in trying to explain why the cats have found their virtual playground on the internet, even if cats themselves don’t know it yet. For many cat owners like myself – no, I won’t deny I’m a self-confessed cat-lady – some recreational activities like being out in the park playing with your cat, running with your cat, and sharing cat moments with other cat owners outdoors like a dog owner would do, has always been kind of limited. The majority of cats prefer to stay at home and the ones who do go out prefer to do it alone.
Even so, my cat actually likes me going out with him, but he’s an exception. So the internet has become that place where people sort of show off their cats, an altogether virtual playground.
So it is only natural, that there would be events running in different countries like the Internet Cat Video Festival organised by Confetti. The latest edition was held on Friday the 20th of November at the Färgfabriken art gallery. It was a purrfect offline celebration of online feline video celebrities. This may be even harder to explain, people getting together to view cats being just cats in videos form the internet? If you’re a cat lover you don’t need to rack your brain trying to explain to yourself why this could be a success. When a cat lover just hears the name of the festival, one must sign up for it right away – and we go back to the virtual playground.
But what makes a cat video so funny? In between watching the videos it was explained that cats take themselves too seriously. So when they do something dumb, it’s like putting them in their right place. Dogs for instance are always trying too hard to catch the attention and to please their masters but when a cat amuses its master, the cat is not at all trying to do that, it’s just being itself.
During the Internet Cat Video Festival a 65 minutes video reel featuring around 100 cat videos was screened. The videos were compiled and edited by the Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis and they came from nominations by the public in the categories of comedy, drama, animated, musical, action, vintage, and documentary. The Festival has been praised by NPR, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and others.
And just to make things a little bit more serious, just before the video reel was screened, Oskar Henrikson, psychologist and CEO at Habitud – the psychological gym, gave a presentation explaining why watching cat videos improves our well-being and also makes us happy.
It’s like watching a kid smile. You cannot help yourself to smile back, it’s an honest happy feeling.
Right after the screening of the videos a ¨cat party¨ took place and I could see many people really did their best to live up to the theme of the party. The outfits were purrrfect from cat t-shirts to cat ears, cat hats and all sorts of cat-related accessories. Even those who didn’t come in cat-gear could get their faces painted as cats or with cat motives. Other amenities during the party included a fish dam, a photo booth, a cat choir and guest DJs.
It was also interesting to see the presence of Stockholms Katthem, a non-profit organisation that houses and redeploys about 400 homeless and destitute cats in the Stockholm area every year. They had a stand where they got to talk about the importance of adopting a cat instead of buying one, and they also got to sell some cat calendars and other items to gather funds for their activities and to sustain the cats that they house in the wait of a good Stockholmer to come and give them a home. Find out more about them at www.katthemmet.nu
And after being to the Internet Cat Video Festival, writing this piece about cats for you and since I mentioned my cat, being the cat lady I am I know as silly as it may sound, I couldn’t resits presenting my cat to you. The only cat I know that shares both the virtual playground and the outdoors one with his owner everyday – rain or shine. Meet Minibar!