A week ago Wednesday night, I sat down in a green metal chair at the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand and watched an hour and a half of Internet cat videos on a giant screen alongside 10,000 people. When this little guy licked a vaccum cleaner, 10,000 of us chuckled together; when these sad cats lamented their plight, we all LOLed; when “Lil Bub & Friendz” came on, we cooed over her sweetness.
Common journalistic wisdom has it that it takes three examples of a phenomenon to make a trend. 1) Kitty City, a metropolis/playground for cats that was built at Flux Factory in May and unveiled with a kitten adoption drive the first weekend in June; 2) The Cat Show, an exhibition devoted to cats, also with adoption drive (two!) and a zine, opening June 14 at White Columns; 3) Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt, a long-term installation opening later this summer at the Brooklyn Museum that will explore the role of felines in ancient Egypt. And I didn’t even mention last year’s Internet Cat Video Festival, which organizers will reprise this summer, or the Grumpy Cat Art Project at a studio in Alabama.