The Friskies Awards

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Not since the time of the ancient Egyptians have cats been worshipped and honored with gold-plated statues in their likeness - not until last Wednesday night, when "catuettes" were presented to the winners of the first-ever Friskies Awards, celebrating the best cat videos on the Internet.

I am not sure what format an awards ceremony would have taken in Tutankhamun's time, but fast-forward 6,000 years and imagine the event Hollywood style - with limousines lining up, a lilac (instead of red) carpet and the Hollywood pet set in attendance, sipping sauvignon blanc at the very stylish Smog Shoppe venue on La Cienega Boulevard that had created special candelabras out of cans of cat food for the occasion.



It's no secret that cat antics are the most-watched videos on the Internet. So, when Friskies put out a catcall, the entries flooded in. A total of 1,400 fluffy, purring, pouncing and some seriously cute videos, to be exact. This was narrowed down to twelve finalists in four categories. Official judges and cat lovers worldwide voted and, to make it really worthwhile to the cat community at large, every vote really counted by earning a can of cat food in the form of a donation to various cat charities. And the final can count was 250,000!

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At the awards ceremony, hosted by YouTube host Michael Buckley, gold-plated catuettes that weighed 12 lbs. were carefully placed on a tall kitty condo and the coveted envelopes were produced from a kitty carrier complete with ears and a tail.

The four cat-egory winners each took home a catuette, a check for $2,500.00 and a year's supply of cat food. They were:
• Catness: "Black Cat Stick 'Em Up" starring Cole. This video highlighted that this kitten's acting abilities were totally spontaneous.
• Catcom: "Cat Alarm Clock" starring Boo, who, undoubtedly, has mastered the art of waking up his owner.
• Catventure: "Cardboard Dreams" starring Milo, Otis, Barrett and Bates, who gave new meaning to the word "discovery" when it comes to cardboard boxes.
• Catchall: "Kitty Plays Fetch" starring Nylah, who proved that, yes, cats can fetch, too!

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The overall winner that took the grand purr-ize of $15,000 for "Best Video" went to "Oskar's First Toys," a story about a very happy blind cat, who enthusiastically uses his senses of hearing and touch to play like any other cat. It was truly touching and sent out a very positive message about blind cats, highlighting that although they are challenged, they can live very happy lives.

And what would a Hollywood-style awards ceremony be without a lifetime achievement award?

The purr-oud recipient was Will Braden, the creator of black-and-white videos in the style of 1950s avant-garde French films that feature Henri, the existential cat who parodies philosophical authors such as Friedrich Nietzsche and Albert Camus.

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Henri, officially known as "Henri, Le Chat Noir," has more than 65,000 fans on Facebook, and there was no question they were amongst the guests at the awards ceremony. Some came dressed in black and white, to honor their feline idol. Others carried purses in his likeness.

Henri didn't put in an appearance but released this statement to the press: "That I have received this golden, smiling idol for a film documenting my metaphysical torment speaks volumes about the spiritual void of humanity. Shiny and meaningless, life marches on."

The awards ceremony was streamed live. Cat videos are now officially an art form!

You can view the awards ceremony at www.TheFriskies.com

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