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Eugene Weekly : Feature : 7.28.11

Eugene Weekly's Pet Issue:

Cooking for Canines Get baked with Fido

Neu Day Rising Make your dog’s life testicle-rific with fake balls

Are You a Badfish Too? Exploring the toothy side of freshwater aquarium-dwellers

The Furriest Firefighter Firedog is much more than a mascot  

Sasha at Serbu Hero dog needs a home  

The Healthy Hound Holistic pet care in Eugene

Pure Pixelated Cuteness Popular cat videos, explained

 

Pure Pixelated Cuteness

Popular cat videos, explained

By Brit McGinnis

A YouTube video of a mother cat hugging a baby kitten has more than 30 million views. That’s more hits than the video of President Obama speaking at the 2011 White House Correspondents dinner and the video of his speech announcing the death of Osama Bin Laden combined.

Thanks to the internet, people can fawn over the antics of any animal they could ever want to see. Everything from hedgehogs to honey badgers is available for viewing. So why choose to watch housecats, which people likely have more chance of encountering in daily life?

Alex Kravtsov, creator of the “Kittens at Lunch !!!” video, never expected his video would gather more than 15 million views since its 2007 uploading. “I think ‘surprised’ is very lightly wrote,” he wrote in an e-mail. This was the first YouTube video he ever created, and he’s since created an all-cat video website called KittyREC.com. It features more than 500 videos.

He says that he never trained the cats to do the cute antics in “Kittens at Lunch !!!” That, he says, is the entire appeal of the video. “Cats are natural actors that can perform without scripts and rehearsals … Every cat is a character of its own and a natural generator of laughs.” 

Here’s the Greatest Cat Hits playlist, scientifically chosen by number of times viewed, how often they were discussed on other websites or by fellow cat video watchers at EW.

 

• “Very angry cat ­ FUNNY” You could be a member of PETA or the most love-professing cat owner who ever lived. This video of a hissing cat (living in what appears to be a shelter) is able to inspire Schadenfreude in most anyone. http://wkly.ws/138

 

• “The two talking cats” Two cats sit side by side and mew in a way that resembles human conversation. They even have make-up licks when the conversation appears to get testy. http://wkly.ws/137

 

• “Cat mom hugs baby kitten” A baby kitten sleeps next to its mother in the way humans spoon. When baby kitten starts twitching, Mama cat swats the camera away and pulls baby kitten closer to her. Awwww. http://wkly.ws/136

 

 • “Mama cat comes to rescue her little kitten” Mew! Mew! Mew! The kitten clearly doesn’t want to be on camera. But three-quarters of the way through the video, a mama cat picks up the kitten by the scruff of the neck and they “escape” from the camera’s view. http://wkly.ws/135

 

• “White kitten vs. white bunny” What happens when a white cat meets a white rabbit? Who knows! It hardly ever occurs in the wild, and never with such perfect color coordination. http://wkly.ws/134

Unfortunately, there are no kitty videos in the list of the most-viewed YouTube videos of all time. But Kravtsov reports that “Kittens at Lunch !!!” alone receives more than 800,000 hits per month, equaling 26,000-plus views per day. It’s only a matter of time before a cat sits next to Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber in the YouTube Hall of Fame.