Well, dog my cats

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Cat at Crescent Hotel02

Arkansas seems to be going cuckoo for kitty-cats. While the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Sanctuary in Eureka Springs has long been one of the largest and most-respected big-cat sanctuaries in North America, your typical tabbies haven’t quite enjoyed the same public adulation, especially when compared to dogs: Arkansas is the number one most dog-owning state in the nation, and we don’t even rank in the top ten for cats. But cats may be pussyfooting their way into Arkansas’s affections: First it was the Purr Catfe and Lounge in Fayetteville (one of only a couple dozen cat cafes in the US), and now the Arkansas Arts Center is bringing the world-famous Internet Cat Video Festival to town on July 10 and 12.

Described by Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center, the festival’s originator, as “the first offline celebration of online cat videos,” the festival began in 2012 as an experimental project and ended up attracting more than 10,000 attendees, along with the attention of numerous national and international media outlets. After the first year, #catvidfest, as it is commonly known, expanded to include international tours, bringing internet sensations such as Henri le Chat Noir, Grumpy Cat and Simon’s Cat to big screens for tens of thousands of fawning fans the world over.

The Arts Center will host the Walker Center’s 2015 #catvidfest, a 70-minute compilation that includes home videos, short films, animated shorts and music videos. The event, which also supports the Humane Society of Pulaski County, includes two matinees, at 2 p.m. on July 10 and 12, and an “Art After Hours” reception and screening at 6 p.m. on the 12th. The screenings are free for Arts Center members; tickets are $5 for non-members or free with a donation of supplies to the Humane Society, which will be on hand with adoptable pets before the matinee on July 10. For a list of needed supplies and details about how to donate, more information about the festival, and to purchase tickets, please visit the Arts Center website.