We have all heard about Grumpy Cat’s death this week, and even as we are mourning the loss of a silly cat, I think it would be nice to look back on her life. Let’s get an idea as to who Grumpy Cat was, why she was a success in the meme world, and why this illness took her life so suddenly.
Who Was Grumpy Cat?
Tardar Sauce, aka Grumpy Cat was a domestic mixed breed cat who was born April 4, 2012, and passed over the Rainbow Bridge on May 13, 2019. She made her home in Morristown, AZ, which is a small town 50 miles north of Phoenix. Even though she was born to healthy parents, Grumpy Cat had a form of feline dwarfism and an underbite that made her look…well…grumpy.
Why Was Grumpy Cat A Success
Grumpy Cat became an internet phenomenon quite honestly. Her owner’s brother (does that make him her uncle?) posted a photo of her on Reddit, and her fame blew up. She then became a great icon for internet memes.
Now, we can understand why her photos are all the rage. First, how many of us get caught up in cat videos, pictures, posts, and even merchandise? With her cute underbite and her feline dwarfism, she exudes the look of dissatisfaction that we feel as humans. Second, the internet is an amazing marketing tool. Once something catches, it can go viral quickly. Grumpy Cat’s humans, or hoomans, were smart in how they marketed her good looks. Third, I believe Grumpy Cat portrayed what we think, but don’t want to say. Yes, it is cute and funny, but there is always truth in jest, right?
Once Grumpy Cat became the face for memes, her owner was able to build on her popularity. This gorgeous gal had a Facebook account with 8.3 million followers, an Instagram account with 2.4 million followers, 1.5 million followers on Twitter, AND her own website with merch. Not only did she make friends online, she also did ads for large corporations as well as made personal appearances on live TV. It sounds like she was a pretty chill cat when it came to travel, which is good, considering all the media exposure she received. According to Wikipedia, her brand made upwards an estimated $1million in revenue over her lifetime.
The Illness that Took Her Life
Unfortunately, Grumpy Cat was taken from us too soon. She passed over the Rainbow Bridge due to complications from a urinary tract infection, with her family by her side. There is a lot of buzz around her death and if it was preventable; if she didn’t receive care in time, or if because of her deformities, it was expected. So…let’s talk about UTIs.
According to VCA Hospitals, cats can contract urinary tract disorders; however, urinary tract infections are less common. Even if it is uncommon, it is good to know what it is.
A urinary tract infection is when bacteria travels up the urethra, makes it to the bladder, and then grows. Urine is generally sterile, but if bacteria grows in the bladder, bladder stones can grow, or your cat may have other medical issues arise.
Symptoms of a UTI will be:
- Painful urination
- frequent urinating small amounts
- blood in the urine
- straining to urinate
- yowling / crying out when trying to urinate
- Urinating throughout the house
- licking the genitals
- A stronger urine odor
Personal Note: My cat, Abel, had a UTI, but I am pretty sure it led to kidney failure, and it came on quickly. Unfortunately, we had to humanely euthanize him as his kidneys were too far gone, but, depending on the situation, and if you are able to get your cat to the vet quickly, you may be able to make a difference between life and death.
There are also certain things that may contribute to recurrent UTIs. If a cat has diabetes, or bladder stones, may be predisposed, but any cat can contract an infection.
Was Grumpy Cat predisposed to UTIs? It’s hard to tell… we don’t have access to her medical files, and her accounts don’t give details on if she suffered from any illness through the years. I think this was more of a fluke, even for a seven-year-old cat. My Abel, passed away at five, so I understand the shock and sheer sadness from a relatively healthy pet.
Grief Felt Across the World
I love seeing the condolences and heart felt comments regarding Grumpy Cat’s death. Even though she was an internet sensation due to her scowling face, she brought so much to people throughout the world.
The grief felt by all those who loved her memes, merchandise, and overall good looks, is great. I honestly didn’t think a cat could make such a difference in everyone’s lives, but apparently, I was wrong.
There are a few things we can do to commemorate Grumpy Cat’s life:
1. Take our pets to the vet to ensure optimal health.
2. Donate money to our favorite pet shelter
3. Volunteer at our favorite pet shelter
4. Spay and Neuter!
5. Stop blaming Grumpy Cat’s parents for her death. (It could have happened to anyone)
6. Love on our pets, because we don’t know when they might travel across the Rainbow Bridge.
7. Be kind to others who have lost their pet to illness.
8. Did I mention spay and neuter?
9. Research breeds and pedigrees to better understand your fur baby
10. Upload your cutest fur baby picture on my site, on my Facebook/Instagram/Twitter pages!
So What Now?
I loved the idea of Grumpy Cat; her looks, her confidence….and I am sad that she has passed away. BUT! There is so much we can learn from her life and her death. We have ideas, symptoms, and markers to look for in our own cats, but we also can have compassion for those who go through this with their own fur babies. They may not be as famous as Grumpy Cat; however, they are the heart and soul of their own families.
Take a moment and upload your comments, stories, and photos of your favorite feline. Tell me their stories. I would love to hear about them!
Sources used: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/urinary-tract-infections-utis-in-cats