Feline stars draw crowd at first-ever Internet cat video film fest

What goes viral in a flash on the Internet?  Why cat videos of course. Crazy or cuddly, felines rule the web.

Now some of the top kitty stars and their camera-toting parents have gone from YouTube sensation to recognition by one of the nation's premier art museums.

Call it Cannes for cats.

The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis hosted the first Internet Cat Video Film Festival drawing some 10,000 people, their cats and, as The New York Times points out, a few dogs "for irony."

“People watch them, and they watch them over and over and over again,” said Gretchen Sealls, 65, a retired banker from Iowa. “I think you’re going to see a lot of copycat versions of this,” she added. “No pun intended.”

It started as a joke, reports the Times. A young program associate tossed out the idea only to find it kind of crept up on museum management on little cat's feet.

Out went the call and back came 10,000 videos from around the world.

In documentary, foreign, art house and lifetime achievement cat-e-gories, the 79 finalists are here. 

The Golden Kitty award - the crowd favorite - went to Will Braden for his two-minute  “Henri 2: Paw de Deux." about his Fellini-esque feline Henri.

 “This goes to show that the shared love of cat videos isn’t just a virtual thing, isn’t just a matter of a few clicks, but actually something people can share in real life,” Mr. Braden told the Times. “I think this legitimizes it.”