A feline is officially flusher with cash than you. Tardar Sauce, known to fans all over the world as Grumpy Cat, has reportedly raked in almost $100 million over the last two years. To put that in human celebrity terms; Kim Kardashian only earned $36 million last year, the poor dear. Grumpy Cat’s owner Tabatha Bundesen has denied the veracity of the $100 million making the rounds in the press this week, but no matter the specific figure, the fact remains; Grumpy is one wealthy cat.
Like so many of the new generation of reality and social stars, Grumpy has spent almost her entire life in the spotlight. In a celebrity economy where talent is by no means required, her naturally unimpressed facial expression (caused by an under-bite and genetic dwarfism) has proven to be a comedic goldmine. “What she’s achieved in such a short time is unimaginable and absolutely mind-blowing,” Arizona-based Bundesen told The Express. “I was able to quit my job as a waitress within days of her first appearance on social media and the phone simply hasn’t stopped ringing since.”
Those phone calls have led to guest appearances at festivals such as SXSW, an endorsement with cat food brand Friskies, a Christmas TV special, a movie deal with Lifetime, and most recently her very own iced coffee drink, aptly named Grumppuccino. Yes, really. I predict the Grumpy Cat fragrance will be next year’s must-have Christmas gift.
Is it really surprising that a miserable-looking yet still adorable kitty won the hearts of millions? It’s no secret that the web is a strange place indeed, and Grumpy Cat is at the centre of a very modern Venn diagram, appealing to both those Facebook users who love anything cute and furry, and more cynical Redditors and Tweeters with a penchant for darker humour.
Social media is rife with cute pets whose owners are hoping to achieve similar viral fame, from “derp dog” Marnie on Vine, to Smushball the cat with “resting bitch face,” property of established Instagram personality Dan Bilzerian. But for now, Brand Grumpy shows no signs of slowing down.