- Beloved internet-famous pet Grumpy Cat has died at the age of 7 after “complications from a recent urinary tract infection that unfortunately became too much for her to overcome.”
- Grumpy Cat had a form of dwarfism that yielded a perpetual frown. She rose to prominence after a photo of her was posted to Reddit.
- Since then, Grumpy Cat’s owner, Tabatha Bundesen, has raked in millions because of her internet-famous pet.
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On September 22, 2012, Tabatha Bundesen’s brother changed her life.
Bundesen was 29 and working as a waitress at the time.Her brother took a photo of her peeved-looking cat and posted it to Reddit. The photo went viral, earning more than 1 million views on Imgur within 48 hours.
Grumpy Cat quickly became a meme, with recognition on sites like BuzzFeed and CNBC.
“We knew she was extremely unique, but we didn’t know she would be this magnitude of special,” Bundesen said at Grumpy Cat’s second-birthday party in April 2014.
Grumpy Cat’s form of dwarfism created a perpetual frown.
But on Thursday, Grumpy Cat died at the age of 7 after experiencing “complications from a recent urinary tract infection that unfortunately became too much for her to overcome,” a post on her official Instagram and Twitter pages announced.
“She passed away peacefully on the morning of Tuesday, May 14, at home in the arms of her mommy, Tabatha,” the post said.
Helping ‘millions of people smile’
Grumpy Cat became one of the first internet-famous pets, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars throughout her life. At the time of her death, Grumpy Cat had 2.4 million Instagram followers and 1.4 million Twitter followers.
As a result of her fame, Bundesen started her own company, Grumpy Cat Limited.
“I was able to quit my job as a waitress within days of her first appearance on social media and the phone simply hasn’t stopped ringing since,” she told The Telegraph in 2014.
In the first two years after posting the original photos to Reddit, Bundesen generated nearly $100 million from Grumpy Cat’s paid appearances, book deals, and modeling career, according to The Telegraph (Bundesen told Huffington Post in 2014 that amount was inaccurate, but didn’t say if it was high or low).
In 2018, Grumpy Cat’s company was awarded $710,000 when another company breached the terms of a deal to use the cat on its products.
While lucrative, Grumpy Cat was also Bundesen’s pet, “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 family wrote in the Twitter and Instagram posts announcing her death.
Grumpy Cat was born in Bundesen’s home and had a brother named Pokey. It’s unclear if Grumpy Cat is survived by her brother.
Alyson Shontell contributed to an earlier version of this post.