Art doesn’t work by committee.
We lost a good one today, folks.
Grumpy Cat, a.k.a. Tardar Sauce, passed away today. She was surrounded by her loving family after suffering an illness related to a urinary tract infection. She was 7.
We all know Tardar Sauce. We’ve all seen her sourpuss face on memes, commercials, T-shirts and pretty much anything else that could be printed on. We might not have read her books or watched her Lifetime television movie but Tardar was the rare celebrity who everyone knew and, more importantly, everyone seemed to like. She didn’t choose to be a celebrity and she obviously didn’t seem happy about it but America loved her regardless.
You never heard a bad story about Tardar Sauce. TMZ never caught her drunk outside of a club. She was never heard making offensive comments or doing something inappropriate. She was incredibly ubiquitous but we were still generally happy to see her. I think everyone wanted to hold Tardar Sauce.
Tardar Sauce was the first real meme celebrity. There have been many bizarre and humorous images that have taken the internet by storm but nothing has ever come close to Grumpy Cat. She became a hell of a lot more than just a single meme and truly spawned an entire industry, a show business first. Perhaps the most puzzling thing about her career is that we will never truly know if she was a fan of being a star. Her owners said she was rather relaxed and laid back and loved being held and cuddled and pet and she certainly got a lot of that, everyone from talk show hosts to famous actors and actresses gave Tardar some premium lovings. She was adored by her public and became a household name. Every age group, every demographic, every type of person was aware of — and gave a damn about — Tardar Sauce.
The truth is that Grumpy Cat was something we could all agree on. I know she was just a cat and maybe I’m thinking too much into it but it’s rare for a celebrity to be admired by pretty much everyone. Everyone has baggage, even the most beloved actors and actresses. And when they pass, people will remind you of the bad things they have done, especially in this day and age. It’s hard to find someone who everyone can mourn and that’s a bummer because I think collectively mourning as a nation is a good thing. It’s cathartic and healthy. Maybe Tardar Sauce was over-saturated and some folks had issue with her celebrity status being forced upon her but she was still loved by most, if not all. Even the folks who got tired of seeing her pissed-off face everywhere can’t deny that they wanted to hold her. Admit it, you would have loved to have Grumpy Cat in your arms.
So today we get to actually come together and remember a celebrity who didn’t do anything bad or make any critical mis-steps in her career. You won’t have a famous person like this for some time, one who is universally well-liked. This is like the Tom Hanks of the meme world passing. Her whole career was unorthodox, surprising and, yes, kind of silly. But, darn it, she seemed like one cool cat. Let’s all come together and say goodbye to Grumpy Cat, Ameria’s last universally-adored celebrity.
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