The feline face that launched thousands of scowling internet memes, Grumpy Cat, has died aged seven.
Grumpy Cat was arguably the world’s most famous and popular puss, with more than 2.5 million followers on Instagram.
Her permanently scowling, unimpressed face was the original digital language for displeasure, cynicism and apathy and became one of the first reaction gifs.
Posting on social media, Grumpy Cat’s owners wrote the famed pet influencer had experienced complications from a urinary tract infection and “passed away peacefully” on Tuesday (US time) “in the arms of her mommy”.
Her owners said: “Grumpy Cat has helped millions of people smile all around the world – even when times were tough.”
“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 post said.
“Besides being our baby and a cherished memory 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.”
Tributes have been flowing on social media, with many fans posting their favourite – and new – Grumpy Cat memes.
RIP Grumpy Cat. Your positivity was infectious. 😿 pic.twitter.com/QDjmZ6O08p
— SmartyKat (@kat_smarty) May 17, 2019
Star Wars actor Mark Hamill posted his sorrow at Grumpy Cat’s death while composer of the musical Cats, Andrew Lloyd Webber, shared a memory from her Broadway debut in 2016.
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) May 17, 2019
— Andrew Lloyd Webber (@OfficialALW) May 17, 2019
The cat’s real name was Tarder Sauce and she rose to fame after her photos were posted to the online forum Reddit in 2012.
Her fame spread rapidly and eventually launched a Grumpy Cat empire worth millions.
The in-demand pet traveled the world making television appearances, starred in a Hollywood Christmas movie and had a wax statue unveiled at Madame Tussauds in 2015.
Her down-turned expression also launched a merchandise range which included toys, clothes and a fragrance.
grumpy cat died and i’m sobbing i know these legends are chillin up in heaven pic.twitter.com/eKfCQyKyDG
— ⋆ 𝔷𝔬𝔦𝔢 ⋆ (@ZoieeeGarcia) May 17, 2019
But her owner Tabatha Bundesen said the worldwide fame did not change the beloved family pet, insisting that “99 per cent of the time she is a normal kitty”.
The cat’s grumpy look was said to be caused from a form of feline dwarfism and an underbite.