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When Did Cat Videos Become So Popular?

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Is there anything that Thomas Edison didn't at least have a hand in inventing? Sure, we all know about the phonograph, light bulb, movie projector, and so on, but if you go online to YouTube and search for "1894 boxing cats," your results will reveal that Edison was directly involved in the birth of the ever-popular cat video. The 22-second clip, originally recorded on film in Edison's Black Maria Studio in West Orange, New Jersey, shows two cats in a roped-off ring. They wear boxing gloves on their forepaws and stand on their back feet with the help of a harness. They briefly battle it out as an official of some sort sits outside the ring, watching. The original film is held at the Library of Congress, which lists its title as "The boxing cats (Prof. Welton's)." Besides Welton, the "Contributors" list includes "Thomas A. Edison, Inc."

Can't get enough cat videos:

  • YouTube offers more than 25 million clips listed as "cat videos."

  • A study by Indiana University's Jessica Gall Myrick suggests that the reason cats top dogs on YouTube is that most viewers are introverts, and introverts tend to prefer cats.

  • Myrick's study also found that many cat video viewers experienced a decrease in stress and an improvement of overall mood.

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