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RIP: Grumpy Cat Passes Away at Age 7

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Grumpy Cat, viral internet star and one of the world's most instantly recognizable cats, passed away earlier this week, due to complications from a urinary tract infection.  She was 7 years old. 

"Despite care from top professionals, as well as from her very loving family, Grumpy encountered complications from a recent urinary tract infection that unfortunately became too tough for her to overcome," the family said in a statement posted to Twitter. "She passed away peacefully on the morning of Tuesday, May 14, at home in the arms of her mommy, Tabatha." 

Grumpy Cat,--whose real name was Tardar Sauce--skyrocketed to fame in 2012, when her human mom's brother posted a picture of her to Reddit with the caption, "Meet grumpy cat."  The post went viral, and soon Grumpy Cat was the inspiration for a seemingly infinite number of internet memes, among them the classic: "I had fun once.  It was awful."

Grumpy Cat's instant celebrity led to a lucrative string of opportunities--including appearances at Comicon, sponsorships for products including Friskies and Honey Nut Cheerios, and her very own movie, the Lifetime Christmas movie "Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever," starring Grumpy Cat and comedienne Aubrey Plaza.

It was the scowl that  launched a thousand ships.  According to those who knew her best, however, Grumpy's signature sour puss concealed the kind of warm and loving heart most of us see in our own fur kids. "She is a super cute and cuddly kitty and loves to be held and rubbed," her mom wrote on Grumpy's official website.

The scowly "grumpy face" that made Grumpy Cat such an instantly recognizable celebri-cat was the result of feline dwarfism, rather than a glum disposition--which made Grumpy Cat not only an internet icon, but a figure for change in the perception of special-needs animals as well. 

"Besides being our baby and a cherished member of the family, Grumpy Cat has helped millions of people smile all around the world — even when times were tough," her mom wrote in the Twitter post announcing Grumpy's passing.

​While Grumpy Cat has crossed the Rainbow Bridge, her tremendous legacy and her even bigger heart will live on in the legion of loving admirers she leaves behind.

Fly free, Grumpy Cat.  You will be sorely missed.

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