Copy Cat Festival: Somerville to host ‘feline extravaganza’ (UPDATED)

The introduction to the Walker Art Center's Internet Cat Video Festival.

Every dog may have its day, but cats have a whole festival thanks to Somerville.

The city will host its first Copy Cat Festival next month – a celebration of all things cat.

The Somerville Arts Council is organizing the event and inspiration for the feline festival came from Minnesota’s Walker Art Center, which put on its Internet Cat Video Festival last summer. It was anything but a catastrophe as more than 10,000 people attended the outdoor festival, according to news reports.

“I think historically dogs have received a fair amount of programming, but it’s time for the cats to be in the limelight,” said Rachel Strutt, the council’s program manager. “It will be fun to bring people together as a community to celebrate cats.”

Somerville’s “feline extravaganza” will feature cat videos – produced locally and globally – cat stories, cat limericks and a slideshow of local cats. There will also be a cat costume table and an appearance by a famous local cat.

Strutt said that the response was so overwhelming in the first 24 hours of publicizing the event that the location had to be changed to fit more people.

She said that the event will be successful in Somerville because of the city’s personality.

“There’s an appetite for the absurd. We like things that are idiosyncratic and different and we like coming together,” she said.

Jef Czekaj, the Somerville-based author of “Cat Secrets” will be the event’s host. He will kick off the event by reading from his book and will likely be dressed as a cat.

“It’s going to appeal to all different types of people, all ages of people,” he said. “I think it’s a good equalizer because everyone has some sort of relation to cats, they either hate them, or love them, or really hate them or really love them.”

The event will now take place at The Amory on Feb. 17 between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Applications to participate in the festival can be found here.

The “people’s choice” winner of the Walker Art Center’s inaugural festival last year was “Henri 2: Paw de Deux.” It can be watched below:


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