Pet Scoop: Thousands Flock to Cat Video Festival, "Bambi and Thumper" Go Viral

August 13, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Many cat lovers at the International Cat Video Festival in Minneapolis sported feline costumes for the event.
Many cat lovers at the International Cat Video Festival in Minneapolis sported feline costumes for the event.

“Cat Behavior” Wins Golden Kitty

A crowd of about 13,000 cat lovers — some sporting costumes — gathered at CHS Field in Minneapolis Wednesday night for the 4th annual Internet Cat Video Festival. They were treated to a compilation of clips of some of the year’s best cat videos, and then it was time for the Golden Kitty Award, which was voted on by the public. In previous years, winners have included William Braden, creator of Henri Le Chat Noir, and the famous Grumpy Cat. This year, the Golden Kitty statuette was awarded to the creators of Cat Behavior Finally Explained, a funny video from a cat’s point of view. It reveals that felines work on a point system that involves knocking glasses over and annoying the dog, among dozens of other things. — Watch videos and read it at the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Japan Names Feline Trainmaster Successor

There’s another big cat headline today, this one from Japan. In June, we told you the sad news of how Tama the cat died at age 16. She was credited with saving a Kishi train station from financial ruin because customers flocked to see her. Now, Tama has a successor. Nitama (Tama the Second), a five-year-old female cat, will be the new master of Kishi Station, Wakayama Electric Railway Co. said Tuesday. The calico cat learned from the best: she’s been working as Tama’s subordinate since 2012. The railway also unveiled a shrine to Tama. "I hope (Nitama) will contribute to boosting local sightseeing and other businesses," said railway President Mitsunobu Kojima. — Read it from Kyodo via Japan’s Mainichi

Study: Fur Seals Use Unique Scent to Recognize Pups

Researchers have found that Antarctic fur seals have a unique scent profile that allows them to recognize their offspring and other family members. Previously, scientists thought voice recognition was key to the seals finding their pups. But they’ve now shown scent also plays a big role. "In heavily populated breeding beaches such as those of Bird Island, where thousands of pups are born, fur seal mothers need to find their hungry offspring when they return from long foraging trips at sea,” said study co-author Dr. Jaume Forcada from the British Antarctic Survey. “This study has shown us that scent is critical to this process, especially for bonding." The findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. — Read it at

A fawn and bunny had an adorable playdate that was caught on video in Colorado.
A fawn and bunny had an adorable playdate that was caught on video in Colorado.

The Real Bambi and Thumper?

An adorable encounter between a fawn and a rabbit that was caught on video has left many people thinking one thing: they’re the real life Bambi and Thumper, the stars of the animated 1942 Disney film. The pair was frolicking outside the Lula W. Dorsey Museum at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park in Colorado when museum guide volunteers Steve and Vicky Johnsen spotted them and started videotaping. They said the two played together for about 30 minutes — and the museum staff said it wasn’t the first time they’ve been seen romping around together. The video was shared on Facebook by the YMCA this week. — Watch it at Today

Boston Police Need Help Naming K9 Pup

The “new guy” on the Boston Police Department force has a strong nose for crime. The Belgian Malinois is 9 weeks old, and his coworkers are having a hard time coming up with a name for him. “The trainer is partial to ‘Reek’ from ‘The Game of Thrones.’ No way, right? So we’re asking for your help in changing his mind,” the K-9 unit posted on its Facebook page. The puppy is being trained for patrol duties and explosive detection. The department’s head trainer said his name should be strong, commanding and no more than two syllables long, and gave Tuco, Bronson, and Solo as examples of good names. If you have a suggestion, you can email it to — Read it at the Boston Globe


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