It’s known that many people spend countless hours trying to increase their follower count on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & Youtube. Whether it be through outlandish viral videos, artistic photography or even retelling their daily mishaps, social media users want to be seen and heard. The formula for viral success continues to evolve, but for one individual, better known as the Grumpy Cat, this feat has been accomplished by simply being herself.
Tardar Sauce, Grumpy Cat’s, real name is a female cat who suffers from both an underbite and feline dwarfism that causes her to appear perpetually grumpy. With no intention of becoming a viral Instagram pet, Grumpy Cat’s rise to stardom happened accidentally. It all started when Grumpy Cat’s owner’s brother posted her picture on Reddit, a social news site, and she became an overnight sensation. Her grumpy facial features were used as internet satire, leading her to become the biggest meme of 2012. The increasing usage of her meme helped evolve the online cat videos from simple clickbait into a tool that could be used in daily situations. The Grumpy Cat meme was used to express negative impressions on mostly happy situations. By the year 2013, Grumpy Cat had become a modern day Ebenezer Scrooge, whose influence lasted way beyond the Christmas season.
Unlike most internet sensations, Grumpy Cat did not fade away with time. In fact, she became bigger and better by the day. She has made appearances on NBC News’ Today, Good Morning America, CBS Evening News and even American Idol. She even expanded heavily into merchandising, promoting a book creating her own licensed merchandise under Grumpy Cat Limited. The merchandising company has an estimated value of $1 million dollars, based purely on items sold featuring Grumpy Cat features. It is definitely an unexpected blessing for both Tardar Sauce and her owners, whose lives were unexpectedly changed overnight by a random picture uploaded onto the Internet. Grumpy Cat is a great example of how the evolution of online cat videos are allowing pets to become bigger than actual celebrities. The mundane cycle of fashion, fitness and flashy posts has pushed social media users to desire something new. Pets are timeless, relatable, and cute, which is the recipe for a timeless post. As of 2018, Grumpy Cat has an Instagram follower count of over 2.4 million people (and pets!) This puts her in the top-tier league with influencers such as Doug The Pug, Marnie The Dog, and Manny The Frenchie. With her own movie titled, “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever” and her book titled “Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book” achieving a New York Times bestseller status, Grumpy Cat has become more than just an Internet celebrity or another famous pet fad. She is a cultural icon who will continue to be adored by millions across the globe without ever cracking a smile.