On May 14, 2019, Grumpy Cat died at home due to complications from a UTI. She was seven years old. Tabatha Bundeson, owner, together with family members Bryan and Crystal, say they are unimaginably heart-broken that their kitty has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
So, who is Grumpy Cat?
Her real name is Tardar Sauce. She had a condition called feline dwarfism, making her a very small cat. Her claim to fame was her mouth, permanently turned down in a frown.
She became an internet celebrity in September 2012, when Tabatha’s brother, Bryan, posted photos online, showing her permanently frowning face.
These were posted on r/pics sub-Reddit. Users on the platform immediately reacted by posting many photoshopped variations of the original photo. The photo page received 1,030,000 views in the first 48 hours.
That same day, the Bundeson family also put video clips of their cat on YouTube. Those clips reached millions of viewers.
The Bundesons must have been really surprised when their cat became an overnight sensation. People around the world reacted to the photos of the little cat. Marketers took advantage of the sensation and began incorporating Grumpy Cat’s picture onto items they had for sale. You can see a few of these items at the end of this article.
Then, Grumpy Cat participated in the South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas. At that event, people stood in line for hours to get their pictures taken with her, though she mostly ignored all her admirers. According to CNN, she was the festival’s biggest star.
This little cat became such a cultural phenomenon that she inspired many art projects. Perfumes, merchandise, Sketcher shoes, pictures and cards with great comic captions, and even a “Grumppuccino” coffee were developed with her image as the selling incentive.
Friskies made her their official “spokescat.” She appeared on several US television shows. She has been on both the Today Show and Good Morning America.
At the time of her death, Grumpy Cat had 1.5 million followers on Twitter, 2.4 million on Instagram and 8.5 million on Facebook. (Source for the information above came from a story on www.CNN.com.)
So, what causes such a phenomenon? How can a little grumpy-looking cat garner so many followers? In my opinion, it is because the cat gives us a chance to laugh at ourselves. It’s not just the frowning cat that charms us, but all the amusing captions that have been paired with her pictures.
One I remember goes something like, “I tried having fun once, but it was awful.” How many people do you know who have that kind of attitude? Have there been times when you have had that same attitude yourself?
The cat reminds us not to take ourselves so seriously. We remember to laugh at ourselves as we laugh at the cat, because we see the cat saying things that are funny reminders of our own foibles. We get a chance to laugh at something that we might criticize in ourselves, thus offering a kind of healing.
Healing is something I would wish for the Bundeson family. I know how devastating the loss of a pet can be. It is often like losing a close member of the family. To those of you who would like to reach out to the family in some way, perhaps you can think of something you can do.
For example, give a donation of money or food to a shelter in Grumpy Cat’s name…or help out a vet school with a donation. Perhaps you could throw a Grumpy Cat fund-raiser and use the money to help a cat hospital. Maybe you have your own idea of a way to reach out.
If you visit Tardar Sauce’s official “Grumpy Cat” website, (https://www.grumpycat.com) you will see many Grumpy Cat pictures. Each one, when you click on it, shows a picture and an advertisement for a product, or perhaps a review and a link to another site. On this official site, many products are available.
On Amazon, I found a selection of Grumpy Cat products, and am offering some of them here. You might consider purchasing some of these bits of memorabilia while they are still reasonably priced. Now that Grumpy Cat is gone, these items may become harder to get, or even rare.
Start your collection now ahead of the rush, when the products are still affordable.
If you purchase one of these Amazon products, please be aware that, as an Amazon affiliate, I will receive a small commission.
The first item I’m offering is the Grumpy Cat ABC Book, now a classic Golden Book. Here are a few of the selections from this book:
A is for Awful. Ants are awful. Everything is awful.
B is for Butterfly. Beat it, butterfly; you’re boring me.
C is for Cactus. I’d rather hug a cactus than continue.
D is for Dog. Dear dog, just don’t.
E is for Eagle. Enough, already. Can’t we just skip to the end?
F is for Fly. Forget that. F is for Frown.
There are a few samples from this book. Now you and your child can laugh through the alphabet while you help keep the memory of this famous cat alive.
by Golden Books
by Chronicle books
This book includes some observations from Grumpy Cat that will make you smile or laugh out loud. In the beginning it says:
“How do you use this book? You look like you probably need things spelled out for you pretty clearly. Let me make it easy for you.
- You think you need help from an expert (me)
- Continue turning the pages of this book.
- Follow my advice
Got it? Wait, don’t tell me. I honestly don’t care.
If at first you don’t succeed, good.”
Grumpy cat goes on to say, “The truth is, it is much easier to fail than it is to succeed. Why not sit back and coast all the way to mediocrity? The choice is yours.”
“Believe you can’t and you’re halfway there.
“If life deals you lemons, throw them at someone.”
“Encourage others to keep trying, even when hope is lost. It’s not that they will succeed in the end. But it sure is fun to watch them struggle.”
Women’s M, L, T 6 medium up
by Sketchers BOBS
Funny Grumpy Cat Mug — I Don’t Like Morning People…Or Mornings…Or People. Coffee & Teacup, 11 ounce ceramic, by My Cuppa Joy
by Ganz Plush
If you would like to add a Grumpy Cat collectible to your memorabilia, be sure to select one of these while the price is low and stock is available to fill your order. These cute items can give you a long-term reminder of this little irreverent kitty. If you need a gift, these selections also make great presents. Shop on!