Grumpy Cat is the angriest cat you’ll ever see. She hates everything. Especially fun.
“I had fun once. It was awful,” her most famous Internet meme says.
Meet Tardar Sauce, the cat whose precious frown has made her famous as “Grumpy Cat.” In an Internet world flooded with adorable or outrageous kitty-cats, “Tard” has made her mark as the grumpiest of them all.
“We didn’t think it would get as big as it did, but it went way big,” said Bryan Bundesen of Ohio, who took the first photo of his sister’s cat when he visited her in Arizona last September. He posted the photo on Reddit, the self-proclaimed “front page of the Internet,” and within 48 hours it had been viewed by more than a million people, according to knowyourmeme.com. Bundesen uploaded three videos to Youtube shortly after and started a blog dedicated to Tard’s dissatisfaction with the world.
“Once you get enough votes to get on the front page of Reddit, you’re off and running,” said Matt Silverman, features editor at social media news site Mashable, explaining how things go viral on the Internet.
“I always think about virality in concentric circles, with The Today Show being the outermost circle,” Silverman said, a milestone that Grumpy Cat reached in December, 21/2 months after the first photo was posted.
“Once it gets to The Today Show, then my mom knows about Grumpy Cat,” Silverman said.
Cats are the feral animals of the Internet. They’re everywhere. About two years before Grumpy Cat’s debut, Mashable writer Amy-Mae Elliot wrote an investigative/opinion piece asking “why is it that the collective web is a ‘cat person,’ so to speak?”
One of her theories suggests cats are “the perfect canvas for human projection,” a quality that makes Grumpy Cat an ideal object for the Internet’s collective snark.
Grumpy Cat’s determined frown has shades of anger, unquestioning hatred and supreme disappointment with the world around her. With her wide blue eyes and ears cocked back, she communicates impatience and resignation, disgust and amusement — a malleable set of reactions for any kind of absurdity.
According to the blog’s “About me” page, Grumpy Cat is of mixed breed but “looks similar to a Ragdoll or a Snowshoe.” She apparently looks nothing like her mother, who is a calico, or her presumed father, who has gray and white stripes. No one knows where she got that pout.
Online creative powers have put Grumpy Cat in every kind of situation. There are memes of her telling off Paris Hilton , Rhianna, Journey, the Grim Reaper and other happier cats. She has commented on nature, burning houses and the royals having a baby.
Tard’s most recent moment of fame was a comparison to Tommy Lee Jones that went viral the day after Sunday’s Golden Globes broadcast. During the awards show, an unimpressed Jones frowned as he listened to Will Ferrell and Kristin Wiig pretend not to know anything about the award they were presenting. Side-by-side, man and cat look like grumpy soul mates.
More than 400,000 people like Grumpy Cat’s Facebook page. Tens of thousands of people from all over the world regularly like and share the photos and memes that are posted there.