Lifestyle & Human Interest

Grumpy Cat, The Scowling Internet Celebrity, Dead at Age 7


Several years ago when my daughter was very young, she came home from a day at her grandmother’s with a new plush toy.

“Who do you have there?” I asked, peering at a scowling stuffed kitty. “It’s a grumpy cat!” she exclaimed.

It wasn’t a grumpy cat, but rather the Grumpy Cat, an internet sensation that rose to fame in 2013. But now the real-life kitty has sadly passed away at the age of 7.

Grumpy Cat was from Arizona and belonged to Tabitha Bundesen, according to The New York Times. The cat had contracted a urinary tract infection.

Sadly, complications from treatment cost Grumpy Cat her life.

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“Some days are grumpier than others,” the feline’s official Twitter account read as part of the announcement.

“Despite care from top professionals, as well as from her very loving family, Grumpy encountered complications from a recent urinary tract infection that unfortunately became too tough for her to overcome. She passed away peacefully on the morning of Tuesday, May 14, at home in the arms of her mommy, Tabatha.”

Not everyone knows that the kitty was originally named Tardar Sauce. However, it isn’t hard to see how she got her signature moniker.

See, Grumpy Cat suffered from a number of genetic abnormalities. Mental Floss reported that she has feline dwarfism, which altered some of her proportions.

She also has a pronounced underbite, which lends her a look of perpetual scowling. Despite being known by a disagreeable name, Grumpy Cat is actually anything but.

“She’s super frisky, especially between 3 and 6 a.m.,” Bundesen said. “When you’re trying to get your deepest sleep, she’s wanting to play.”

Grumpy Cat got her big break when her picture appeared on Reddit with the sentence, “Meet grumpy cat.” Over the space of the following months, her popularity exploded.

Social media users would caption various images of the kitty, emblazoning her frowning visage with phrases such as, “I had fun once. It was awful.”

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Bundesen shrewdly marketed her cat, licensing merchandising, promoting her in ads, penning a book, and having her appear on television. Grumpy Cat hawked both Cheerios and Friskies.

Her book, “Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book,” cracked the New York Times Best Sellers list. And actress Aubrey Plaza narrated the Lifetime film “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever.”

Some criticized how often Bundesen toured with her kitty, but she insisted that Grumpy Cat loved meeting new people in new places. Bundesen also remained incredibly grateful for the blessings her cat brought into her life.

“I’ve been waitressing for 10 years, barely making ends meet,” she said. “Now I get to travel with the cat, and I’m homeschooling [my daughter], so we get to spend more time together.

“Plus, there’s the joy that Grumpy Cat is spreading — or grumpiness. But really, everybody’s smiling.”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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