Cute cat video alert: Feline Film Festival comes to Atlanta in October

ssorich@ledger-enquirer.comSeptember 9, 2013 

Photo by Sonya Sorich

It's nearly midnight, and I'm debating whether a sparkly bow tie is cuter than a casual bonnet.

I opt for the bow tie, which I fasten while pondering camera angles for the fashion shoot I'll soon conduct. "You're going to be a star one day," I confidently tell my petite model.

She responds by running toward her litter box. I think we're making progress.

I'm helping a one-eyed cat go viral. This explains my collection of camera-ready shoeboxes. It also explains why I use the hashtag "#catsofinstagram" more often than phrases related to my long-term professional goals.

Go ahead judge. I assume that means you've never typed "Grumpy Cat" into an Internet search engine.

If you haven't heard, the digital world is kind of obsessed with cats.

The latest evidence of our cat obsession? The 2013 Feline Film Festival, which comes to Atlanta -- er, "Catlanta" -- Oct. 19. I'm giving you more than a month's notice because one of the night's two screenings is already sold out.

Festival organizers say they're "dedicated to showcasing the best in feline cinema from around the world." Tickets cost $10 and proceeds benefit a nonprofit cat rescue organization.

I'm guessing the audience won't be confined to the proverbial crazy cat ladies.

Fifteen percent of all Internet traffic is connected to cats, according to research from cat food manufacturer Friskies that's cited in a recent CBS News report.

Some people say footage of a feline's cardboard box adventures isn't merely a distraction. It can also enhance the quality of your life. A study out of Japan "shows that looking at cute animal pictures can actually improve a person's productivity at work," according to a 2012 CNBC report.

It adds, "The idea is that their tiny faces, doing supercute things, trigger a care-giving impulse in humans, much like seeing babies. This encourages friendliness and can even boost productivity in tasks that require focus."

The study results aren't confined to cats. But I think felines have experienced some redemption due to their Internet fame.

The viral videos highlight a cuteness that's often less overt than what some of their other four-legged counterparts display. Dogs flaunt their endearing quirks in public parks and running trails.

Observing a cat's cutest moments requires a certain level of strategic voyeurism.

At least that's what I've learned from following Instagram accounts with names like "thedailykitten" and "kittys_n_cats."

Back at our bow tie photo shoot, the one-eyed cat offers a few cute poses before returning to more pressing tasks. I hit Google and boldly type "wedding gown for cat."

She'll thank me later.

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Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at ssorich@ledger-enquirer.com or 706-571-8516. Visit ledger-enquirer.com/sonya to read her columns.

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