It is impossible to be a participant of the internet without ever encountering Grumpy Cat. The permanently scowling spirit animal of millennials worldwide has captivated our attention with his varsity level resting bitch face. Apart from making her owner richer than you’ll be in five lifetimes, the furry sensation just broke another glass ceiling: cats casted in a broadway musical.
Grumpy Cat, born “Tardar Sauce,”is a 2-year-old mixed breed cat born with feline dwarfism, which results in shorter legs and her signature underbite. The abnormality changed the life of her owner, Tabatha Bundesen, when her brother posted a picture of Tardar to Reddit. Reddit is known as the internet’s battleground for keyboard warriors. People often post pictures of themselves other people in honor of the excruciating “roast me” forums which is a free-for-all roast session based off the appearance of that person. However, when you’re a cat, these captions and roasts don’t hurt your feelings, and when you’re Grumpy Cat, you’re a miserable S.O.B. regardless. The picture took off, reaching all corners of the internet, and it was at that moment that Tabatha quit her job at Red Lobster to become full-time stage Mom.
The demand spread. The love was real. MSNBC named Grumpy Cat 2012’s most influential cat (but who really knows what that really means). In May of 2013, Tardar was featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal. In October of the same year, she graced the cover of New York magazine. A year after those appearances, Grumpy Cat remains a celebrity—and not just in the microfamed way of most Internet memes, or any Vine star ever. There are reports that the frowny-faced feline has brought Bundesen nearly $100 million in earnings from endorsements, branded products, and media appearances. (although Bundesen has claimed that it’s not “quite that much”).
Tardar’s 15 minutes of fame have broken through Reddit and Tumblr to media platforms like Good Morning America and The Today Show. The cat has a line of licensed merchandise including T-shirts and mugs which are on sale at Hot Topic. She has a line of (grumpy) stuffed animals. She has been a spokescat for Friskies. She also has a line of iced coffee beverages sold under the brand name “Grumpuccino.” And at just two years old, there’s much more to come.
Grumpy Cat is not a human but she sure is treated like one. As a legitimate Hollywood commodity, she has an agent and a manager, Ben Lashes, who also represents the internet’s other top felines including Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat. Lashes manages Grumpy Cat’s social presence which has amassed 1.8 million Instagram followers and 8.7 million Facebook fans, a best-selling book, a TV movie Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever, voiced by Aubrey Plaza and now…
…tum roll please…
Grumpy Cat is casted in a Broadway musical, and what else other than ‘Cats‘.
Ok, she’s not really a true cast member. Have you ever tried taking a cat outside it’s natural habitat? It turns into a demonic specimen and quivering and slithering and biting and slicing in any way physically possible to escape to the corner of the room. Not Grumpy Cat though, who has an honorary role in the production and was brought out on stage for a breif stint at the end of the show last week.
After the show it was announced, “you’ve heard of several different kinds of cat — practical cats, dramatical cats, pragmatical cats, fanatical cats, to name a few. But, there’s one more cat that you have yet to meet,” he said. “Now, before we crawl off into the alley and carry on with the rest of our evening, we would like to introduce to you a very special cat…a Grumpy Cat.”