On Sunday, 2 February, the 1st Athens Internet Cat Video Festival made its debut. Created by Nine Lives Greece and the Walker Art Center of Minneapolis, U.S., the festival included over an hour of hilarious cat videos and featured many cat stars of the web, such as Lil Bub and Grumpy cat. It was held at the trendy event space Six D.O.G.S in Monastiraki.
Despite chilly temperatures and the threat of a rainstorm, the event was a roaring success. Both screenings were filled to overflowing and much merriment was had by all. The loudest giggles, of course, were heard from the little ones of the crowd. This was a great event for all the family.
Each screening was introduced by our World Spay Month ambassador, the actress and MTV Greece presenter Jenny Theona. A cat lover who herself cares for 10 cats, she introduced the upcoming videos and explained how the event was tied to the launch of World Spay Month, while stressing the importance of spaying both our own pets and the enormous stray cat population here in Athens. MTV covered the event and interviewed several Nine Lives volunteers, and the report was aired repeatedly at prime times in the run-up to World Spay Day.
A boutique space next to the screening room provided viewers with a chance to learn about Nine Lives Greece and our work, while sponsors gave out free samples of their products. Purina, the pet food company, had adorable tote bags containing small sample packages of cat food and coupons. Emi’s Cupcakes served beautiful and delicious mini cupcakes, while Popy’s Gourmet Popcorn dispensed free samples of their mouthwatering goodies. This room was bustling: it was so popular that at times it was as packed as a New York City subway at rush hour! Nine Lives sold some of our branded merchandise and cat toys, with all proceeds going straight into feeding, veterinary care and neutering of stray cats.