Grumpy Cat, the pouty-faced feline that became an Internet sensation and even spawned a Christmas movie and bestselling book, has died at the age of 7, the cat’s owner confirmed on social media Friday.
“We are unimaginably heartbroken to announce the loss of our beloved Grumpy Cat,” Tabatha Bundesen, Grumpy Cat’s owner, wrote from the cat’s verified account, adding that the cat died in her arms on Tuesday, May 14th.
“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.”
Bundesen continued, “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.”
Grumpy Cat first rose to prominence in 2012 when Bundesen posted a picture of the cat, then named Tardar Sauce, on Reddit; the picture of the cat – which gained its trademarked expression from dwarfism and an underbite – soon went viral, and “Grumpy Cat” was born.
Grumpy Cat soon became a cultural icon and merchandising giant, her pout appearing on everything from sneakers to cat food to advice books to cereal; the official Grumpy Cat webstore has nearly 900 items, ranging from mugs to shirts to cellphone cases.
Grumpy Cat won the 2013 Webby Award for Meme of the Year. The following year, Grumpy Cat “starred” in the Lifetime Christmas movie Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever, with actress Aubrey Plaza supplying the voice for the feline. In recent years, the adventures of Grumpy Cat have been documented for her 2.4 million followers on Instagram.