Sahuarita cat owner takes home $10,000 in cat video contest

2013-10-17T00:00:00Z 2013-10-17T00:30:30Z Sahuarita cat owner takes home $10,000 in cat video contestBy Veronica M. Cruz Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Move over Grumpy Cat, there’s a new feline star on the Internet.

Pancake, a rescued cat who lives in Sahuarita with owner Alex Komechak, is the star of a YouTube video that won two awards and $10,000 Tuesday night in a nationwide contest sponsored by Friskies that honors the best Internet cat videos.

Komechak’s entry, a video of Pancake playing with his best friend, a Doberman named Sugar Tree, won the Rescue Cat and Fan Favorite categories at The Friskies awards, according to a news release from Friskies.

In her acceptance speeches, Komechak thanked the voters, Friskies and “cats for being so cute.”

Each award came with a $5,000 prize and gold-plated “Catuette” trophy. And Pancake got a one-year supply of Friskies food.

Komechak, who also owns camels, emus, sheep and ostriches, plans to use the money for the care and upkeep of the animals.

The winning videos were chosen from 2,500 submissions. Judges narrowed the entries to 20 semifinalists in four categories — Cat Comedy, Catventure, Rescue Cat and Pursuit of Food or Treat.

Online voters determined which three videos in each category were named finalists, and the video with the most votes was crowned winner. All of the finalists were eligible for the Fan Favorite award.

The winners were announced at an award show in New York City and streamed live on the Internet. Grumpy Cat, the pessimistic feline who became an Internet sensation, was presented the lifetime achievement award .

“The Friskies is like the Oscars for cat videos,” Shawn Brain, Friskies brand manager, said in a news release.

Komechak thinks the popularity of cat videos can be attributed to their entertaining behavior.

“Cats are not like any other animal. They’re behavior is so erratic,” she said. “I just think they’re hilarious. They’ll be doing one thing, and all of a sudden they’re doing something else. They just change their mind in a second.”

In her video, Pancake bats at Sugar Tree’s nose and the two are seen lying side by side.

“I thought it was really cute because of the way they play, especially because people think of Dobermans as being vicious dogs usually, and it’s just not true. She’s just so gentle with Pancake,” Komechak said.

Contact reporter Veronica Cruz at vcruz@azstarnet.com or 573-4224.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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