Better Than Cats 

We've all been there. Somebody mass emails a link to yet another video of kittens riding on a Roomba. Several hours later, after repeated viewings of "The Cat That Barks Like a Dog Until It's Busted by a Human," you find yourself woozily clicking on the related link titled "Our Cat Wheezy Has Gas." If there is an international language of the internet, it's cat videos. If that wasn't obvious enough already, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis made things unmistakably clear with the first Internet Cat Video Festival, which attracted thousands of live attendees and more than 9 million views on YouTube.

The Walker's intent was to take a typically private activity — in this case, watching cat videos on the internet — and give it a public, social context. This Valentine's Day, with the event "Must Love Cats," the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is following in the Walker's paw prints, transforming itself into a place where Memphis lovers, who are also digital cat lovers, can LOL together.

The Internet Cat Video Festival screens at 7 and 9 p.m. Opera Memphis will be on hand to perform Rossini's "Duetto Buffo di Due Gatti" (humorous duet for two cats), which consists entirely of the word "meow." Performance artist Patty Carreras will dress like a cat and chase a laser pointer throughout the museum, while DJ Superman from Hot 107 drops cat-themed jams. More artistically inclined partygoers can even make an Andy Warhol-inspired cat portrait.

The Brushmark restaurant will be open and serving Valentine's Day-inspired meals. It's the only place in the museum where cat won't be served up for your enjoyment.

"Must Love Cats," the Brooks museum of art, thursday, February 14th, 6-9 p.m. $10, $8 for museum members



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