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Menopausal Mother Nature

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'Grumpy Cat' wasn't so cranky after all

The cat that launched a thousand memes has died.

Her family posted a note this week that the unforgettable feline passed away on May 14, the result of complications from a 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.

“Her spirit will continue to live on through her fans everywhere.”

Humble beginnings

The Internet knew her as “Grumpy Cat,” but Tardar Sauce — “Tard” for short — wasn’t actually all that grumpy.

The mixed-breed cat became an Internet sensation when her photo was posted on Reddit in 2012. Many users suspected that the feline’s frown had been Photoshopped, so her owners shared some videos of her to prove that Tardar’s face really does look a bit cranky.

“Tardar has what looks kind of like an underbite,” owner Tabatha Bundesen of Morristown, Arizona, told Fox News at the time. “She looked unique, as did her brother, at birth, with a flat face, bubble eyes, and a short tail.”

Tardar was born on April 4, 2012, and although she’s said to have some ragdoll, snowshoe and Siamese in her line, her mother was a calico cat and her father was a gray-and-white tabby cat.

“Many have said that she is a ‘dwarf’ cat or a ‘munchkin,’ but she was born from two normal-sized cats,” according to Grumpy Cat’s official Facebook page. “Her back legs are a bit longer than her front legs and she wobbles a bit when she walks.”

Veterinarians said her size and shape could be genetic or neurological, but that the cranky kitty was perfectly healthy.

Although Bundesen usually gave away kittens, her 10-year-old daughter, Chrystal, fell in love with Grumpy Cat’s unique appearance and insisted they keep her.

As a kitten, Tardar’s fur was speckled with dark spots, which reminded Chrystal of tartar sauce. She named the cat after the condiment — misspelling it in the process — and it stuck.

Sweet — and sassy

Despite her distinctive frown and inherent clumsiness, Tardar’s owners say she was a sweet and affectionate pet.

“Tardar is not as coordinated as a normal cat, so she is likely a little angry about that. I think she likes to be held and petted sometimes, but being the pet of a 10-year-old could make anyone grumpy,” Bundesen said at the time.

After her first encounter with fame, Tardar decided to set the record straight about her disposition and released the video above in which she clarifies, “I’m not grumpy. I don’t like when people call me grumpy. That’s just how my face is shaped. I look like other cats, I think.”

And that’s a good lesson for all of us to keep in mind.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated since it was originally written in February 2013.

‘Grumpy Cat’ wasn’t so cranky after all

Tardar Sauce, who died in May 2019, was famous for her funny feline frown, but her owners say she was actually a very happy cat.


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