Don’t you just love cat videos and memes? There’s something about these adorable little creatures that makes us fall madly in love with them. Once a cat meme or video appears on the internet, it almost instantaneously becomes a global sensation.
Everyone knows of the Grumpy Cat meme, and I’m willing to bet you’ve even made some of the cat’s memes yourself. Sadly, the cat whose real name was Tardar Sauce has recently passed on, aged 7. Grumpy Cat was born in April 2012 and departed the world on May 14 this year.
The Dream Life
If the cat were human, we would have said that she truly led the dream life. At the time of her death, Tardar Sauce had generated revenue worth more than $100 million, thanks to her grumpy resting face. This distinctive expression was as a result of malocclusion and dwarfism, and it made her famous all around the world.
Grumpy Cat’s owner was Tabatha Bundsen who was a Red Lobster waitress when her cat became a celebrity. The cat’s newfound status forced Bundsen to quit her job to run her. So how exactly did Tardar Sauce become Grumpy Cat?
It all happened in September 2012 when Bryan, Bundsen’s brother, posted a picture of the cat on his Reddit account. The image became an instant hit with Reddit users, many of whom snatched it up and added their own captions to it.
With the cat’s expression, the captions were all in the negative, but boy were they funny! Despite the memes, however, Tabatha insisted that the cat was actually really calm and sweet.
Soon, Tardar Sauce’s memes were all over social media, spreading like wildfire and earning her the Grumpy Cat nickname. And just like that, a feline empire was built, with Tabatha’s cat at the helm of it all.
Over the years, Grumpy Cat had a strong online presence – 8.5 million Facebook likes, 38 million YouTube views, 1.5 million followers on Twitter, and 2.4 million others on Instagram as of October last year. Of course, these numbers had increased by the time of the cat’s passing.
Pomp and Flair
Off the virtual world, Grumpy Cat’s affairs were all pomp and flair. She appeared on the covers of numerous reputable publications, including New York Magazine and The Wall Street Journal.
She also appeared on TV shows, advertisements, and two books about her were published. Her face was even copyrighted, effectively making her a money minting machine.
The feline celebrity also won a number of awards, including the 2013 Meme of the Year from Buzzfeed. The previous year, MSNBC deemed her the Most Influential Cat. With all this success, Grumpy Cat had to have a manager.
Ben Lashes served her in this capacity, and we can thank him for all the revenue the cat raised. Tabatha had to quit her waiting tables job to manage her pet’s schedule, while Bryan was tasked with running the cat’s social media pages.
As she rests in “cat heaven,” all we can do is remember her fondly and keep her memory alive by sharing her memes. Rest in peace, Grumpy Cat.