These 33 adorable photos of Grumpy Cat’s life and rise prove why she stole our hearts and raked in millions for her owner

The beloved internet sensation Grumpy Cat died this week at the age of 7, his owners announced on Instagram.

In a Friday morning post shared with her 2.5 million Instagram followers, Grumpy Cat’s owners wrote that the cat with a perpetual frown had passed away due to complications associated with a recent urinary tract infection.

“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,” the statement from her owners said.

The famous internet star, who first rose to fame in 2012, raked in millions of dollars for her owner. Grumpy Cat and her owners made appearances on TV shows, wrote several books, and garnered a huge following who loved her frowning facial expression.

Here’s how Grumpy Cat first rose to fame, and all that she accomplished during her career:

Grumpy Cat was born on April 4, 2012 in Morristown, Arizona. Grumpy Cat isn’t her real name, however — it’s “Tardar Sauce.”

Vincent Sandoval/WireImage

Sources: Grumpy Cat, Mental Floss

Grumpy Cat’s famous unamused expression is a permanent fixture. Her face and underbite are due to a condition called feline dwarfism.

Source: Grumpy Cat

Dwarfism in cats affects their bone growth and hormone development. It’s the reason behind Grumpy Cat’s small frame, and why her rear end wobbles when she walks. “Otherwise she is a perfect little kitty,” her website says.

Sources: Catster, Grumpy Cat

Grumpy Cat has a brother, a black-and-white cat named Pokey. He also has feline dwarfism, so “he’s super short and cute too,” the cats’ owners told Mental Floss in 2013. “His face isn’t as frowny as hers, but he does have an underbite.”

Real Grumpy Cat/YouTube

Source: Mental Floss

Grumpy Cat’s owner is Tabatha Bundesen, was was working as a waitress in Arizona before Grump Cat’s fame. She often accompanied Grumpy Cat during his public appearances.

Grumpy Cat’s original name, “Tardar Sauce,” was thought up by Bundesen’s daughter, Crystal. The child thought the new kitten, who was born an orange-ish color, resembled Tartar sauce, something her mom had made her recently try for the first time.

Source: Mental Floss

Grumpy Cat went viral before he was even a year old, thanks to Bundesen’s brother. In September 2012, he posted a photo of Grumpy Cat on Reddit. It quickly went viral, and earned more than 1 million views on Imgur within 48 hours.

Meetgrumpy cat from r/pics

Source: Reddit, Business Insider

Many online speculated that the photo of Grumpy Cat was photoshopped to give her that perpetual frown. Bundesen posted a few videos of her cat on YouTube to dispel those rumors, and her fame only skyrocketed from there.

Source: Grumpy Cat

Grumpy Cat quickly became a meme, and was thrust into stardom.


Grumpy Cat's viral fame allowed Bundesen to quit her waitressing job at Red Lobster "within days of her first appearance on social media," she said in an interview in 2014. "The phone simply hasn't stopped ringing since."

Source: Telegraph

Grumpy Cat's sudden rise to fame garnered her interest from Ben Lashes, a "meme manager" who also represents internet favorites like Keyboard Cat and the animated Nyan Cat. Lashes became Grumpy Cat's manager in 2012, and helped to develop the cat's brand.

Grumpy Cat with actress Aubrey Plaza.
Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images

Source: Hollywood Reporter

"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.

Source: Shannon Truax/YouTube

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 (Bundesen told Huffington Post in 2014 that amount was inaccurate, but didn't say if it was high or low).

Robin Marchant/Getty Images

Source: Telegraph, Huffington Post

Grumpy Cat's owners have their own brand that sells merchandise featuring the famous feline. The company has sold products from t-shirts and mugs, shoes and stuffed toys.

Source: Grumpy Cat Limited

In 2018, Grumpy Cat and her owners were awarded $710,000 when a coffee company breached the terms of a deal to use the cat on its products. The company had paid to launch a Grumpy-themed drink, but got into trouble after launching a second product without permission.

George Pimentel/WireImage


Grumpy Cat has a few books under her belt with titles like, "The Grumpy Guide to Life: Observation from Grumpy Cat," and "No-It-All: Everything You Need To No." Her 2013 book "Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book," made the New York Times' best sellers list.

Desiree Navarro/Getty Images

Source: Mental Floss

Grumpy Cat posted her first-ever blog post in 2016. She shared her top 10 pet peeves, which include asking her to smile, social media, and selfie sticks.


Source: Multivu Press Release

Grumpy Cat struck a deal with Lifetime in 2014 for a made-for-TV special called "Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever." In the movie, a young girl named Chrystal forms a bond with Grumpy Cat (voiced by Aubrey Plaza), and discovers she can tell what the cat is thinking.

Source: TVLine

The Lifetime deal likely made Grumpy Cat "the highest-paid cat in a movie in Hollywood," a network executive told the Hollywood Reporter.

Steve Jennings/Getty Images for Civic Entertainment Group

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Grumpy Cat starred in a Buzzfeed video in 2015 called "Happiness Finds Grumpy Cat." As always, she looked delightfully mopey during the video premiere.

Watch the video on YouTube:

Grumpy Cat has also made cameos on other shows, including "American Idol" and "The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose."

Grumpy Cat on "The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose."
Todd Wawrychuk/ABC via Getty Images

Along with other famous internet cats, Grumpy Cat was featured on an episode of the Disney Channel show "Bizaardvark." The 12-year-old agent on the show says he doesn't understand the hype around Grumpy Cat, and orders her out of his office — "Listen kid, let me give you some advice: Cheer up!"

Adam Taylor/Disney Channel via Getty Images

Source: The Wrap

Events featuring Grumpy Cat were highly covered events that drew huge crowds. For an appearance in New York City, people lined up around the block for a chance to snap a picture with the famous feline.

Besides forays into acting and writing, Grumpy Cat also pursued an interest in music. He starred in a music video for "Cat Summer" in 2014 alongside Internet stars like Nala Cat and Oskar the Blind Cat.

Source: Huffington Post

Early on in her career, Grumpy Cat signed an endorsement deal with cat food brand Friskies to be the company's official "spokescat." During her lifetime, she appeared frequently at Friskies events to promote new products.

Source: CNN

For one such event, a pop-up art gallery in Texas featured artwork of Grumpy Cat made entirely out of bacon.

She was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at "The Friskies" award show in 2013 for "doing the most to help cats take over the Internet."

Source: Time

Grumpy Cat became a staple in the growing online community early on in her career. She was a frequent attendee at VidCon, an annual convention celebrating online video that attracted YouTube superstars like The Fine Bros.

Grumpy Cat was a true celebrity. She made appearances on talk shows, signed "cat-orgraphs," and was even invited to the MTV Movie Awards (she dressed up for the occasion).

Grumpy Cat joined the cast of the Broadway musical "Cats" in 2016. She was named an "honorary Jellicle Cat."

Grumpy Cat at "Cats" musical.
Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Source: Playbill

The Arizona-native made multiple cameos at Arizona Diamondbacks baseball games, sporting a personalized jersey and sometimes a miniature ballcap.

In 2016, Grumpy Cat was honored with a wax figure at Madame Tussauds in Las Vegas, a nod at the influence the feline has had on society and internet culture.

Larry French/Getty Images for Madame Tussauds

Source: Madame Tussauds

Grumpy Cat even made it into political fame. In a speech in 2015, President Barack Obama compared Republicans to the famous Internet cat, and even mimicked her expression.

Source: The Hill

But on Friday, Grumpy Cat's owners announced on Instagram that the beloved cat had died from complications associated with a recent urinary tract infection.

View this post on Instagram

Some days are grumpier than others...

A post shared by Grumpy Cat (@realgrumpycat) on

"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," the Instagram post says. "Her spirit will continue to live on through her fans everywhere."