Grumpy Cat, the feline whose frowning visage became a relatable meme, has died. It could be argued that Grumpy Cat was one of the most well-known animal phenomena ever birthed by the internet, gaining her start as an Impact-font image macro and transitioning that fame into millions of followers on social media. She even appeared on the cover of this very magazine back in 2013. In a message posted online early this morning, Grumpy Cat’s owners announced her passing. “Grumpy Cat encountered complications from a recent urinary tract infection that unfortunately became too tough for her to overcome,” they wrote. She passed away on Tuesday at the age of seven. “Besides being our baby and a cherished member of the family,” they added, “Grumpy Cat has helped millions of people smile all around the world.”
Grumpy Cat (originally known as Tard, which was supposedly short for Tardar Sauce) first came to prominence in 2012, when a Reddit post of her went viral. Her signature scowl was a combination of two genetic features, an underbite and feline dwarfism. Her owner, Tabatha Bundesen, quickly cashed in on the cat’s fame, licensing her likeness for shirts and merchandise and a coffee line known as Grumpuccino. The coffee later became the subject of a lawsuit. In 2014, Anger Feline starred in Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever, a Lifetime original movie. She was voiced by Aubrey Plaza. In the pantheon of famous internet cats, Grumpy Cat may rank only below Happy Cat as one of the most influential. Millions of aspiring catfluencers stand on her shoulders. Grumpy Cat is either in heaven or hell now, though it’s not clear whether she’d have a preference.