How did the old song go? “The cat came back the very next day.”

After spending a year at the Great Minnesota Get-Together, the venerable Internet Cat Video Festival is returning to its initial digs on the hill just outside of the Walker Art Center. Yup, it’s free again!

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I’m sure by this point in our story I hardly need to tell you what an unyielding, blinding success the festival has been right from the very beginning. It started in 2012 and attracted something like 13 million people. (I exaggerate, but the head count was formidable even without including each attending cat’s nine separate lives.) Its success was such that organizers brought it to the State Fair last year, where Grumpy Cat made a memorable appearance … and stopped by the WCCO-TV booth for a frowny guest stint.

The Fair experiment was cute and all, but no cat ever feels comfortable in another’s litter box, so expect turnout this Thursday night at 6 p.m. to be immense and grateful. In addition to the usual music and food truck noshing, there will once again be an awards ceremony for this year’s best viral cat video. Here are the five nominees for the 2014 Golden Kitty:

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Voting is closed for the official award, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a vote here!

Eric Henderson