Updated Jan. 10, 2:20 p.m.
The original video of the Keyboard Cat was made in the mid-80s, when Schmidt videotaped his orange cat “Fatso” wearing a blue shirt and “playing” an electronic keyboard. The video was posted to YouTube in 2007 and eventually went viral.
Sadly, Fatso has passed on, but Schmidt keeps the legend alive with a new Keyboard Cat, who has made several videos and commercials.
Admit it, you’ve probably watched them, at home, at work, late at night when you’re bored; those endless streams of YouTube cat videos. Lil' Bub and Grumpy Cat are Internet favorites. You can find cats falling off TVs, sleeping in cardboard boxes, or chasing laser light pens. Now, you can share your guilty pleasure with a crowd.
The popular Internet Cat Video Festival is coming to Boise in January. The festival is a live event, where 85 cat videos are shown on a big screen. Yes, 85.
The festival has pulled big crowds in other cities, an estimated 10,000 fans showed up at a 2012 event in Minneapolis, MN. It was created by Scott Stulen, a curator at the Walker Art Center.
By the second year of the cat video smorgasboard, more than 11,000 people watched at the Minnesota State Fair. Since then it’s gone on the road, from Portland to Chicago, and all the way to Northern Ireland. For a better sense of the festival's growing popularity, check out this Buzzfeed listicle.
The Knitting Factory, which is bringing the Festival to Boise next month, says Internet cat videos are some of the most heavily watched content online. The Factory, which usually hosts bands, says they do more than just music.
Since word spread of the cat video festival's arrival in Boise the Factory has been getting lots of calls.
“We have heard from a variety of different demographics, interest groups ranging from high-school-age students, to cat lovers, animal interest groups and shelters,” says Jeni Williams, marketing director at the Knitting Factory. “This tour has a very large following and we are delighted to be a part of it!”
The Factory says this is about community. They want people to have a “good time, with fellow cat lovers and cat web followers, watching videos together.”
Williams says there will be a special appearance at the festival by Lil’ Bub. This green-eyed Internet sensation has some genetic malfunctions that make her look like she’s perpetually smiling with her tongue hanging out. She has more than half a million “likes” on Facebook.
Copyright 2013 Boise State Public Radio