Screened at the 2013 Minnesota State Fair, the 2nd Annual Internet Cat Video Film Festival drew more than 13,000 feline fanatics from points both near and far for two days of cats, cat videos, and cat culture.
Developed with the self-professed goal of taking the online experience offline and sharing the best of the genre in a non-ironic, social setting, the festival and its curators seek to address one burning question: are cat videos art?
Jurists sifted through a pool of over 10,000 nominees, of which roughly 80 were selected for inclusion in this year's reel.
Sourced from a wide array of countries — Russia, Austrlalia, Japan, and all over the United States — the videos were grouped in "Cat-egories": Comedy, Drama, Foreign, Animated, Musical, Documentary, and Cat-On-A-Stick, which honors locally produced clips.
Compiled below are some of the things we saw, we loved, and we ate (not cats, obvs).
1. Don't mess with Keyboard Cat, he's got people. LOTS of people.
2. Here's Chris Torres (right), creator of Nyan Cat, on Day 2 at the Walker Art Center. He absolutely ADORES his fans and loves meeting with them, especially if they come dressed in homemade, Nyan Cat-inspired swag.
3. Three of my favorite things — cats, memes, and pixel art — come together in t-shirt form.
Prolly my fave t-shirt spotted at the festival's merch tent.
4. Speaking of merch, here's a sampling of what was available for cat connoisseurs.
5. Did you know that 90-pound blocks of butter are THE artistic medium of our times? Behold the majesty of the Butter Cat!
Not one to squander the spotlight, Butter Cat knows how to really sell a good punchline. Yucks all around...
Watch a time-lapse video of the sculpting process!
6. This girl came prepared to throw down in purrrson.
7. These two had no shame. Sorry, not sorry.
8. Roomba Shark Cat cosplay is now a thing!
9. Lil Bub and her owner, Mike Bridavsky, are a threat to cuddle anywhere, anytime.
Stealing some quick zzzz's — a cat nap if you will — between appearances.
On stage, accepting accolades.
Even while mending fences. J/K, how could anyone ever be mad at Bub?
10. The two of them are exceedingly patient and gracious with their fans.
Biggest. Eyes. Ever.
11. LOOK! Lil Bub won BuzzFeed's "Win" badge! That's because she wrote some awesome posts that turned the Internet inside out! Did you know that anyone can contribute to BuzzFeed, even cats? Learn more here!
12. Because, of course: Bub and Grumpy Cat are friends IRL!
13. These two had excellent taste in t-shirts, especially the impossible to miss tie-dye design on the left, which is simply ridic.
14. You don't know what it's like to be a cat until you've walked a mile in their paws.
15. This is Scott Stulen, the festival's curator. He's a cool cat, as comfortable on-stage as he is off.
16. CBS News correspondent Bill Geist is such a huge cat buff that he carries oversized cardboard cutouts everywhere he goes.
17. This is what happens when Lil Bub meets Big Bub.
18. Toonces, you have company: Bub gets behind the wheel.
19. The Internet Cat Video Film Festival: fun for all ages!
20. It's also a great spot for date night!
Redlining the cute meter in 3, 2, 1...
That tiger is wearing sunnies! On his face!
Poll: who's idea was it wear matching t-shirts? His or her's? Weigh in below!
21. Taking it all in.
22. Proof that 13,000 fans of cat videos can't be wrong.
23. The calm before the purrricane to come. (GROAN...)
24. FACT: Cats > The '80s. Performing at the Minnesota State Fair one night before the festival, synth pop icons Depeche Mode drew a more modest figure, an estimated audience of 10,000. (The show was fab, BTW.)
25. Artifacts, er, cartifacts, of the viral era will be highly coveted when someone opens an Internet Hall Of Fame.
26. The co-host of the festival, comedian Julie Klausner, is the Stanley Kubrick of cat videos. She came to the festival armed with a new short, which you can watch below!
Follow her on Twitter at @julieklausner.