Grumpy Cat death: Beloved pet and internet meme sensation dies

The famous feline passed away on Tuesday

Olivia Petter
Friday 17 May 2019 12:20 BST
2016: Social media star Grumpy Cat meets her wax double at Madame Tussauds in London

Social media star Grumpy Cat has died aged seven, her owners revealed on Twitter.

The cat was also known as Tardar Sauce and was renowned for her permanently “grumpy” facial expression, which prompted millions of memes across the internet.

The famous feline had more than 2.4m followers on Instagram and 1.5m followers on Twitter.

According to a statement posted on Friday, Grumpy Cat passed away on Tuesday 14 May “at home in the arms of her mommy, Tabatha.”

“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,” it continues.

“Besides being our baby and a cherished member of the family, Grumpy Cat has helped millions of people smile all around the world – even when times were tough. Her spirit will continue to live on through her fans everywhere.”

Grumpy, as she was nicknamed, lived in Phoenix, Arizona with her owners, Tabatha, Bryan and Chrystal.

The pet cat first shot to fame in 2012 after Bryan – Tabitha’s brother – posted a photo of her aged four months old on Reddit, which promptly went viral.

Hundreds and thousands of memes followed, many of which poked fun at the cat’s distinctive appearance, which her owners said was likely due to feline dwarfism.

Despite her stratospheric fame, the Grumpy’s owners stressed that she led a normal life.

Writing prior to the creature’s death on her website, they said: ”We take great care of Tardar Sauce; 99 per cent of the time she is a normal kitty.

“She plays, hides, and acts as cats act. (She LOVES to hide behind the curtains!) She isn’t in front of a camera all of the time like many people perceive. We only take photos sets once every week or so and on the few occasions where we have met with the media or licensed partners we ensure the sessions are short and that she isn’t handled by many people. Tardar Sauce is a member of the family before anything else!”

A number of lucrative deals with brands bolstered the cat’s fame, including a limited edition “Kitten Fur” fragrance and a brand of iced coffees dubbed Grumppuccino. She was also “the face” of cat food brand Friskies.

Ben Lashes, the pet’s manager, once described her as a “seven-figure cat,” estimating that she generated around $100m (£78,361,500) in revenue for her owners.

Fans of the feline have responded to news of her death by posting tributes on social media.

“Heartbroken. Sending my love to Tabatha and all your family. That came as quite the shock,” wrote one person on Twitter.

Another added: “I loved this cat. I had the absolute pleasure of meeting her once and I will never forget it.

“I learned much from her and am deeply saddened and devastated to hear of her passing. Love you Tardar Sauce! Long live Grumpy Cat!”

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