In respect of matters catalogical, it is rare, if ever, that I get to scoop, so to speak. the redoubtable IPKat.This film is the product of Thomas Edison's (yes, that Thomas Edison!) Manufacturing Company. Why did the brilliant men - namely producer, W.K.L. Dickson - who worked for Thomas Edison feel that they needed to use this new technology to show the world "boxing cats" is a question that has boggled the minds of film historians for over 100 years.
The above goes to show that cute cat videos are hardly a recent phenomenon.
HT to Martin Scorcese, who knows a thing or two about cinema and provided the above link in this article from the current New York Review of Books:The Persisting Vision: Reading the Language of Cinema
HT also to an anonymous scholarly source who reads the New York Review of Books.