Her scowl had made her an internet star: the “Grumpy Cat” cat died at the age of 7, her American owners announced on Friday.
Few domestic felines have spent their whole lives in the spotlight. Her real name Tardar Sauce, nicknamed Late in the family circle, appeared in a photo on the Reddit site on September 22, 2012, when she was just a five-month-old kitten. In front of the army of Internet users crying fake, the owner of the cat had to explain that she had not photoshopped anything: Tard was a dwarf cat with a deformed jaw, which gave her this definitely grumpy look. She also posted a video as proof.
The first hijackings quickly flared up. Amused netizens captioned the photo of the grumpy cat: “I had fun once, it was awful.” “There are two classes of people in this world, and I don’t like them.” The animal became known by the nickname of Grumpy Cat, its owner Tabatha Bundesen opened a Facebook page for it, then an official website, a store of derivative products… In the middle of the golden age of lolcats, the popularity of Grumpy Cat exploded. His ink portrait made the headlines of the great wall street journal in May 2013, we adapted his life into a TV movie, we talked about a feature film, we published photo books, he appeared in a Broadway musical, ended up as a wax statue in several Madame Tussauds museums… delirium is total.
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And his image was precious: in 2018, Tabatha Bundesen obtained 710,000 dollars (633,000 euros) in damages in a Californian federal court for violation of an image rights contract. A coffee company had posted the not happy face on unauthorized products…
Carried from TV sets to festivals, Grumpy Cat has kept a life of “normal kitty 99% of the time”, promises her mistress on her official website. And as a normal kitty, she couldn’t survive a complicated urinary tract infection. “Despite the care of professionals and that of his loving family, […] the infection unfortunately became impossible for her to overcome”explained his humans.
8.5 million Facebook fans, 2.5 million Instagram followers and 1.5 million Twitter followers are obviously very sad, and expressions of sympathy are pouring in.
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