Grumpy Cat has died from complications following a urinary tract infection. She was 7 years old.
Grumpy Cat, whose given name was Tardar Sauce, became an internet celebrity after her owner’s brother posted a photo of the cat to Reddit in 2012. The sourpussed feline was less than a year old at the time and instantly went viral.
The family was able to capitalize on the cat’s internet fame through branding promotions with Friskies, appearances at Comicon, and a TV-movie deal with Lifetime called Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever, which have all brought in millions.
Grumpy Cat’s family, including her owner Tabatha Bundesen, made the announcement of the cat’s passing this morning on Twitter and described her as their “baby.” Bundesen was a Red Lobster waitress before Grumpy Cat’s rocket to stardom.
“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,” the family said in a statement posted to Twitter. “She passed away peacefully on the morning of Tuesday, May 14, at home in the arms of her mommy, Tabatha.”
Grumpy Cat’s star started to fade in recent years, especially after the lukewarm response to Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever, which co-starred comedian Aubrey Plaza. But that’s how fame has always worked, even before the internet could make you famous overnight.
“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 are tough,” Grumpy Cat’s family said.
“Her spirit will continue to live on through her fans everywhere.”