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International Internet Sensation: Grumpy Cat

Readmikenow enjoys writing about unique and interesting people. He likes to learn about individuals who live or have lived unusual lives.

Grumpy Cat

Grumpy Cat

The female cat named Tardar Sauce and nicknamed Grumpy Cat was an internet celebrity. It was her permanently grumpy facial appearance that brought her so much fame. Grumpy Cat's expression was the result of her having an underbite caused by feline dwarfism. Her stardom started on September 22, 2012. This is when Bryan Bundesen posted a photograph of her on the new website Reddit. Bundesen is the brother of Tabatha Bundesen, who is Grumpy Cat's owner. Many memes parodies were created from the photograph posted by Bryan Bundesen. These photographs were extremely popular with Reddit users. Grumpy cat became the subject of some extremely popular internet memes. They were humorously negative. These memes provided cynical images created from photographs of Grumpy Cat.

Early Years

Tardar Sauce was born on April 4, 2012, in Morristown, Arizona. She was part of a litter of four kittens. Her mother was a calico and her father was a blue-and-white tabby. She was born in the home of Tabatha Bundesen. They realized she had a grumpy face from having a form of dwarfism. Grumpy Cat's mother and father were normal-sized cats. Grumpy cat was also born undersized and had back legs that are described as being different. She had a brother named Pokey. Both of them were born with short tails, bubble eyes, and a flat face. Grumpy cat had a unique appearance but according to her owners, she was just a regular cat most of the time.

Grumpy Cat Meme

Grumpy Cat Meme

Internet Success

Ben Lashes was a meme manager who represented Grumpy Cat. A year after the feline's first appearance on social media, Tabatha Bundesen took some time away from her position at Red Lobster. She did this to manage Grumpy Cat's schedule. Her brother Bryan Bundesen took care of Grumpy Cat's social media accounts including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube as well as the Grumpy Cat website. Grumpy Cat had over 8 million total likes on Facebook as of March 2020. She had over a million followers on Twitter as well as over 280,000 YouTube subscribers.

Grumpy Cat with Anderson Cooper

Grumpy Cat with Anderson Cooper

Media Appearances

After her success on social media, Grumpy Cat started making media appearances. During this time, she would usually be accompanied by Tabatha and Bryan Bundesen. She appeared on a variety of shows.

  • The ABC News Good Morning America Show
  • The NBC News Today Show
  • FOX's American Idol Show
  • CBS Evening News
  • VH1's Big Morning Buzz Live Show
  • E! Network's The Soup Show
  • Anderson Live
Grumpy Cat with Friskies sign

Grumpy Cat with Friskies sign

Friskies Sponsorship

Friskies has a YouTube game show called Will Kitty Play and Grumpy Cat was able to appear on some of the show's episodes. It was announced in September 2013 that Grumpy Cat would be Friskies Official Spokescat. In Austin Texas, there was a South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW) festival. An interactive appearance was made by Grumpy Cat. For the trip, Friskies provided Grumpy Cat and her owner first-class airfare, a private room in a hotel that came with a king-sized bed. They also provided a chauffeur, personal assistant, unlimited bottled water, and Friskies food. Grumpy cat then went to New York City to appear on Anderson Live and Good Morning America. After this, she went to Time Magazine for a photoshoot.

Grumpy Cat stuffed animal

Grumpy Cat stuffed animal

Merchandising

As of August 2018, Grumpy Cat Limited had been given eight trademarks. They provided over 1080 items on the shop at Grumpy Cat online. The licensed merchandise included a variety of stuffed toys, T-shirts, mugs, and more. The Ganz Company created a Grumpy Cat plush toy. It enabled those who used it to play with Grumpy Cat's electronic likeness on the website for Webkinz.

Grumpy Cat a Grumpy Book

Grumpy Cat a Grumpy Book

Grumpy Cat Books

Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book was published by Chronicle books in 2013. The book has been made available to consumers in both digital and print formats. It is offered by retailers around the world. On the Publisher's Weekly's bestseller List, it debuted at #8 in the category of hardcover nonfiction. The Grumpy Guide to Life: Observations by Grumpy Cat was also published by Chronicle Books. It debuted on the New York Times Best Seller List in the category of advice, Miscellaneous, and How-To at #3. The Grumpy Cat Wall Calendar has also been produced annually by Chronicle Books since 2013. A comic book about Grumpy Cat and her brother called The Misadventures of Grumpy Cat and Pokey was published by Dynamite Entertainment. Grumpy Cat tattoo, paper doll, coloring and sticker books are published by Dover Publications.

Grumpy Cat with her star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Grumpy Cat with her star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Movies

A documentary called Lil Bub & Friendz had an appearance by Grumpy Cat. In 2013, it was featured at Tribeca Film Festival. It was awarded Tribeca Online Festival Best Feature Film. A movie about Grumpy Cat to be made as a Garfield-style film was optioned by Broken Road Productions in 2013. In 2014, Lifetime announced it would produce a movie featuring Grumpy Cat. It would be called Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever. The movie debuted on November 29, 2014. The script was written by Jeff Morris and Tim Hill. The voice of Grumpy Cat was done by Aubrey Plaza. The movie was released on November 6, 2014.

Grumpy Cat: Unimpressed video game

Grumpy Cat: Unimpressed video game

Digital Products

Grumpy Cat: Unimpressed is an official video game released by Ganz Studios in December 2013. It is a match-three game. Grumpy Cat's insults appear if combos are performed. Grumpy Cat memes are unlocked as a player reaches each level. Grumpy Cat Weather was released in June 2016 by Weather Creative Inc. It enables people to check Grumpy Cat's dry and witty forecast daily.

Earnings

The Bundesens indicated the Grumpy Cat brand brought in an income in the mid-five figures in March 2013. By May 2013, they said it had increased to low-six-figures. As of August 2018, the Bundesens never released the net worth of the Grumpy Cat brand. There has been speculation online it could be in the tens of millions of dollars.

Death

On May 14, 2019, Grumpy Cat aka Tardar Sauce died in her home. She passed away in the arms of Tabatha Bundesen. Her death was the result of complications associated with a urinary tract infection. She was seven years old. Her death was announced on social media. Grumpy Cat was mourned by large numbers of people all over the world. Tributes were posted worldwide for Grumpy Cat.

Tabatha Bundesen and Grumpy Cat

Tabatha Bundesen and Grumpy Cat

Grumpy Cat's fame was unique. Her standing among famous cats has provided her with a special place in history. Grumpy Cat evolved into a cultural phenomenon. Her fame occurred on the internet and far beyond it. She completely changed the lives of her owners. They appreciate all the benefits that came with owning Grumpy Cat, but they are especially happy with all the joy she was able to spread to people around the world.

Sources

Official Grumpy Cat Website

Forbes

BBC

The Guardian

Mental Floss

© 2020 Readmikenow

Comments

Readmikenow (author) on August 13, 2020:

Devika, thanks. It is amazing to me how well they marketed their cat's unusual appearance.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 13, 2020:

Interesting about Grumpy cat you enlightened me on an unusual write up.

Readmikenow (author) on August 12, 2020:

Liz, Thanks. I don't know, but it is amazing how much money it brought them.

Liz Westwood from UK on August 12, 2020:

This is a fascinating article. It's a shame that Grumpy Cat had a relatively short life. I wonder how long her owners will continue to get an income from her legacy.