Grumpy Cat, the web-famous feline with the perpetually miserable mug, has died
By J. FREEDOM DU LAC AND ALLYSON CHIU | The Washington Post | Published: May 17, 2019
"Some days are grumpier than others," the Instagram caption said.
It appeared next to a photo of the Internet's most famous and beloved cat, the one with the perpetually miserable mug.
But this was no ordinary post on @realgrumpycat, the wildly popular Instagram account with 2.4 million followers, who have grown to adore the cat's perma-scowl.
Grumpy Cat's owners had come to share some extremely sad news:
Grumpy Cat is dead.
The "grumpy" cat, whose real name was Tardar Sauce, died of complications from a urinary tract infection. She was 7.
"Her spirit will continue to live on through her fans everywhere," her owners said.
Grumpy Cat wasn't, in fact, perpetually grumpy; her distinctive scowl was caused by a form of dwarfism.
She first achieved some level of Internet celebrity in 2012, after pictures featuring her frowning face went viral on social media, then turned into a mean-mugging meme. Within 24 hours, a Reddit post that included images of the cat was trending with more than 25,000 upvotes, according to Know Your Meme, a website that tracks viral Internet content.
It wasn't long before Grumpy Cat was everywhere. She appeared on TV, popping up in episodes of "American Idol," "The Bachelorette" and WWE's "Monday Night Raw." In 2014, she even scored her own Lifetime holiday movie, "Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever," a two-hour spectacle featuring the voice talents of actress Aubrey Plaza as the title character.
Two years later, she made her Broadway debut, a one-night only appearance in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, "Cats." Of course she did.
By the time of her death, Grumpy Cat had amassed nearly 4 million combined followers on Instagram and Twitter. Her Facebook page boasts 8.5 million likes.
Grumpy Cat also became something of a cottage industry.
As The Washington Post' reported in 2018, the cat's owner, Tabatha Bundesen of Morristown, Arizona, saw in her mixed-breed cat "a cash cow and a lifeline. The cat's unexpected fame allowed Bundesen to quit her job waitressing at Red Lobster," The Post reported, adding that "Bundesen later formed Grumpy Cat Limited, monetizing her cat."
In its first few years, the company, which rolled out a line of branded products, reportedly raked in anywhere from $1 million to $100 million, Andrews wrote. The feline also added "spokescat" for Friskies to her résumé in 2013, CNN reported.
Go to the Grumpycats.com shop today, and you'll find hundreds of products available for purchase, from ugly Christmas sweaters and laptop sleeves to drink coasters and guitar straps — all of them, of course, bearing the cat's famous frown, usually along with a similarly surly message.