Monday, August 18, 2014

Cat Internet Festival and Lil BUB: How I Was Swept into a Catnado

Last week was a total catnado, but in a totally great way -- not in the way that cats were falling from the sky and chomping people. This catnado landed at the 2014 Internet Cat Video Festival in Minneapolis, and then jumped to the Feline Rescue fundraiser staring the one-and-only Lil BUB!

So many cool T-shirts!

The video festival is in my city, and it's the original one ... that means it's in my backyard and it's extra-super-cool. I was chosen as a juror again this year, so it was fun to see which ones made it to the reel and which one was picked to receive the glorious Golden Kitty award (it was this video)!


As usual, the people-watching was spectacular and the attendees seemed to be elated just to be in the company of other feline fanciers. Cat lovers tend to connect most often online, so to be in a group of close to 10,000 all at once was pure nirvana.

With my friend Kelley from Feline Rescue

My friends at Feline Rescue had a booth again this year, and -- surprise -- the Cat Engineer guys stopped to take photos with their adoring fans. Have you seen their cat-yodeling video? You must!

What the AWESOME?

I ran into some blogger friends as well. It's always a treat to see Joanne from Tiniest Tiger, Paris from CatTipper/DogTipper, Debbie from Glogirly and Alana from Cat in the Fridge. Speaking of Alana, her team from CATastrophes (recently picked up by was there interviewing kitty-cat devotees about their cat's super power ... if they had one besides their obvious awesomeness.

Alana, me, Joanne and Paris

The hour-long reel was well worth the wait, and it was absolutely insane (in the best possible way) to sit among thousands of other cat lovers and laugh, smile and "awwww!" together. I think we generated enough positive energy to keep the whole city of Minneapolis lit up for at least a few days. Hey -- that was our super power!

A powerful crowd!

The next day, my husband and I volunteered to help at the Feline Rescue fundraiser, which included a meet-and-greet with Lil BUB herself! The event was ticketed and limited to 200 participants because Mike Bridavsky is a top-notch guy and looks after BUB's well-being -- even the magical BUB can only take so much activity. Have I mentioned how great of a guy Mike is?

Look how CUTE she is! Yay, us!

The money from from the fundraiser was split in half between Feline Rescue and BUB's fund (which benefits animals with special needs) and people were excited and more than willing to donate in exchange for a photo (and perhaps a little top-of-the-head kiss) with the little sweetheart.

She signed it all by herself. Kidding.

My husband John helped by keeping the line moving and taking BUB photos of the participants using their own cameras. And that guy did a bang-up job! He squatted, chatted and snapped photos for over three hours. He said it was all worth it to be able to see the joy on everyone's faces as they interacted with the famous cat.

My favorite cat guy.

Overall, it was two days of complete craziness and pure elation; however at the end of it all, I fell into bed feeling a little catatonic (haha).

If you weren't able to make the fundraiser, and would like to help Feline Rescue, take a look at their donation page and wish list. Something as simple as paper towels or plastic bags will make a huge difference in their day-to-day operation. 

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