An internet sensation, the ever popular “Grumpy Cat” has been made into hundreds of thousands of internet memes, been depicted on t-shirts and the cover of The Wall Street Journal and the New York magazine. Just recently, the cat was given the honor of being cast in wax to be part of the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum that is located in San Francisco.
But besides being known as the internet meme cat, the “Grumpy Cat”, whose actual name is Tardar Sauce, lives a relatively normal feline life. Her owner, Tabatha Bundesen, says that the reason for her cat’s perpetually grumpy expression is due to a combination of under bite problems and feline dwarfism. Tardar Sauce was born with her twin brother Rocky to normal cat parents in April of 2012 and right away the Bundesens’ noticed that something was just a little off with the feline. She was undersized and her hind legs where abnormal but the Bundesens’ say that Tardar Sauce is able to function like a normal cat almost “99% of the time”.
Feline Dwarfism is a condition due to a genetic mutation. In most cases, this mutation manifests itself in the appearance of shorter legs due to bone and cartilage disorders. While some cats like this are bred to have the embedded dwarfish gene, such was not the case with Tardar Sauce. She is a true genetic snowflake. In fact, that type of selective breeding is banned in several countries as it is deemed to be a form of animal cruelty.
After reaching her internet fame, Tardar Sauce now has a full time cat manager, Ben Lashes who also oversees the fame of two other cats, the Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat. The “Grumpy Cat” and Tabatha have made many media appearances, including visits to South by Southwest Interactive, the Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Evening News, Anderson Live, Big Morning Buzz Live, the Soup and even American Idol. The cat has a book written about her and she’s appeared on screen in several TV commercials including one for Honey Nut Cheerios. She recently became the official Friskies spokescat and was given the special cat celebrity treatment when she flew to visit them, including first class plane tickets.
In January of 2013, her owners, brother and sister duo Tabatha and Brian received their patent “Grumpy Cat Limited” in order to protect the “Grumpy Cat” trademark and her image. Since then, the two have begun selling licensed merchandise such as various t-shirts and mugs which are sold on their website and through stores like Hot Topic. In addition, the duo sells stuffed toys with both Gund and Webkinz making the plush toys in Tardar Sauce’s image and likeness. As of today, the company has been estimated to have a total value of about one million dollars. Pretty good for a small sized feline who lounges around all day.