Happy International Cat Day, everyone! Put your paws up for the finest fur-flying kitty videos to ever claw their way up the pop charts.
Please note, for this top 10, we didn’t include any viral videos — sorry, Keyboard Cat, DJ Kitty, Nora the Piano Cat, Miley Cyrus’s AMAs robo-cat — just real videos made by (mostly) human musicians with an especially soft spot for kitties.
10. The Cure, “The Lovecats”
Is there anything more old-school emo than seeing a young, generously guylinered Robert Smith cuddle a kitten? We couldn’t get closer than this.
9. Ed Sheeran, “Drunk”
Ed proved that cats, not dogs, are man’s best friend (or at least man’s best drinking buddy), as his four-legged wingman (or wingcat, as it were) accompanied him on a night of debauchery at the local cathouse. Pass the catnip!
8. Grumpy Cat and Friends, “Hard to Be a Cat at Christmas”
The Scrooge of the feline world, Grumpy Cat, joined Internet-famous kitty celebs Nala Cat, Oskar the Blind Cat, Hamilton the Hipster Cat, and Colonel Meow (R.I.P.) for this holiday charity video in 2013. It’s basically the “Do They Know It’s Christmas” of cats. A cat classic for the ages!
7. Hecuba, “La Musica”
Not all cat videos are cute. Some are a little creepy. These “Dance Cats for Hire” are so bizarre, we suspect their choreography was secretly masterminded by resident So You Think You Dance eccentric Sonya Tayeh. That’s a compliment, by the way.
6. Self, “Runaway”
Matt Mahaffey, the studio wizard and multi-instrumentalist behind one-man powerpop band Self, has always been a cool cat, but he outdid him-Self, so to speak, with the totally on-trend, cat-tastic video for this 2014 comeback single. “I’ve always fancied myself a person who’s ahead of the curve,” he told EW, “and with this video, I really think that making videos of cats is going to catch fire on the internets. I wasn’t available to be at my own video shoot and I refuse to allow my band to have a moment in the sun without me, so we hired this rad cat band that I’ve been a fan of for a while.”
5. Fatboy Slim, “The Joker”
Norman Cook, ever the video vanguard, predated the kitty-video trend by a decade in this cute-overload clip from 2004. Put on your kitten heels and dance along.
4. Best Coast, “Crazy for You”
Los Angeles indie-pop band Best Coast thrillingly teamed with the LOLcats over at icanhascheezburger.com for this gem. Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino is a major cat lady, by the way, and her pet tabby Snacks, who appears on the Crazy for You album cover, is famous in his own right.
3. Bjork, “Triumph of a Heart”
Bjork + director Spike Jonze + a feline love interest = AWESOMENESS. This video, in which Bjork plays a frustrated housewife married to a 6-foot-tall housecat, is weird even by Bjork/Jonze standards, but it’s a must-must-must-watch.
2. Orbital, “Wonky”
WARNING: If you suffer from ailurophobia (fear of cats), you probably should not watch this scary clip, which features British comedian Mat Horne meeting a grisly fate at the paws of several crazy, downright demonic felines. Go watch OK Go’s “White Knuckles” dog video instead.
1. Holy F***, “Red Lights”
This video has all the purrfect ingredients for rock-loving cat-fanciers: a Saturday Night Live “Toonces the Driving Cat” homage; a band of psychedelic cool cats jamming against a swirling backdrop of fire; felines posed in shadow, James Bond/Charlie’s Angels-style; and a suspenseful, ’70s-retro, action-flick car chase in which a cat leaves an evil doggy in the dust. The clip is by an indie band called Holy F***, which is appropriate, because that is exactly what you’ll be saying after watching it.
HONORABLE MENTION: Devo’s Cat Party
Devo’s first album in 20 years, released in June 2010, was called Something for Everybody. And to prove the title’s point, that this comeback effort offered quality entertainment for even Devo’s four-legged fans, the band hosted the greatest marketing stunt EVER: an all-day UStream listening party for 20 lucky cats. The funky felines frolicked atop a carpeted scratching post shaped like Devo’s iconic energy-dome hat, while fans, curious-as-cats lookieloos, and members of the press observed all the cattiness from the Warner Bros. Records patio in Burbank. The invite read: “Tune in live to see 20 cats getting down to the new Devo album for nine whole hours.” It’s a beautiful world, indeed.
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