RIP Grumpy Cat: Remembering that time we hung out with the Internet’s most famous feline

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Grumpy Cat and her owner Tabatha Bundesen sat down with USA TODAY in 2014.

Editor’s note: Grumpy Cat, the feline whose disapproving mug made her the star of internet memes, died May 14 at age 7, her publicist confirmed. (You read that right; this cat was so famous, she had a publicist.) As a tribute, we are revisiting the time Grumpy Cat paid a visit to USA TODAY’s New York bureau in August 2014. 

Famous enough for Prince George’s royal scowl to be Photoshopped alongside Grumpy’s Winston Churchill-like mug.

Grumpy arrives for a cat chat with her owner and owner’s brother (Tabatha and Bryan Bundesen), a shades-wearing manager named Ben Lashes, and assorted book publicists.

Grumpy Cat, beloved meme star, dies at age 7: ‘Some days are grumpier than others’

Grumpy Cat, whose real name was Tardar Sauce, poses with owner Tabatha Bundesen during a 2014 visit to USA TODAY’s New York offices. (Photo: Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY)

She’s on tour to promote her second book, “The Grumpy Guide to Life: Observations by Grumpy Cat.” (“If life deals you lemons, throw them at someone.”) She’s attracted big crowds in L.A., Las Vegas and New York, where the furry author graced fans with her “paw”-tograph (a rubber stamp of her real pawprint).

But despite all the attention, she’s no diva; she lets Tabatha flop her tiny body around like a rag doll as she poses for photos for USA TODAY.

There’s not even an outrageous demand for a bowl of Friskies!

Grumpy, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, clawed her way to the top after Bryan posted her photo to Reddit back in 2012. The rest, as they say, is hiss-tory.

Listen to Grumpy Cat. (Giphy)
Listen to Grumpy Cat. 

Fans began adding funny grumpy sayings to the photos, the morning shows started calling, a book deal was signed.

The Grumpy brand keeps growing: The cat is now starring in a Honey Nut Cheerios commercial, and later this month, she’s off to Vancouver, British Columbia, to shoot a Lifetime movie, “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever,” which will air Nov. 29.

Grumpy Cat poses with her human counterpart, Aubrey Plaza, in a promotional photo for her TV movie "Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever."
Grumpy Cat poses with her human counterpart, Aubrey Plaza, in a promotional photo for her TV movie “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever.” 

The biggest shocker of all? Grumpy — who has a form of dwarfism, which explains her downturned mouth, huge blue eyes and small size (less than 5 pounds) — is, well, not the least bit grumpy.

“She’s very sweet and docile,” says Tabatha, 29, who does the talking for her 2-year-old cat, except for an occasional little meow. Tabby, a nickname cat lovers will appreciate, has gone from waitressing to cat-career management thanks to Grumpy’s fame.

How does Tabatha, who lives in Morristown, Arizona, with her daughter and a houseful of other cats and dogs, explain it all?

“Misery loves company,” she reasons. “People feel if Grumpy’s having a bad day, too, they can use her as a way to communicate their negative feelings.”

8/7/14 11:31:41 AM -- New York, NY, U.S.A  -- Grumpy Cat - online and publishing feline phenom., --    Photo by Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY Staff ORG XMIT:  RD 131498 GRUMPY CAT 8/7/2014 [Via MerlinFTP Drop]
Grumpy Cat, online and publishing feline phenom, died May 14, 2019 from complications related to a urinary tract infection, the cat’s publicist said. She was 7 years old.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
8/7/14 11:33:39 AM -- New York, NY, U.S.A  -- Grumpy Cat - online and publishing feline phenom., with Tabatha Bundesen, owner --    Photo by Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY Staff ORG XMIT:  RD 131498 GRUMPY CAT 8/7/2014 [Via MerlinFTP Drop]
Grumpy Cat with owner Tabatha Bundesen on Aug. 7, 2014. Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
Grumpy Cat, an Internet celebrity cat whose real name is Tardar Sauce, walks on a table during a television interview on Friday April 4, 2014 in New York. Known for her facial expression, her owner Tabatha Bundesen says that Grumpy Cat's permanently grumpy-looking face is due to feline dwarfism.  (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) ORG XMIT: NYBM111
Grumpy Cat, an Internet celebrity cat whose real name is Tardar Sauce, walks on a table during a television interview on April 4, 2014 in New York. Known for her facial expression, her owner Tabatha Bundesen says that Grumpy Cat’s permanently grumpy-looking face is due to feline dwarfism. Bebeto Matthews, AP
Tabatha Bundesen holds her pet Tardar Sauce, also known
Tabatha Bundesen holds her pet Tardar Sauce, also known as Internet sensation Grumpy Cat, at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Ariz. on Sept. 22, 2013. Patrick Breen/The Republic
The perpetually frowning feline is from Morristown.
The perpetually frowning feline is from Morristown, Ariz.. Her owner, Tabatha Bendesen was quoted as saying she was able to quit her waitress job after Grumpy became a social-media sensation. Charlie Leight/The Republic/azc
Grumpy Cat gets up close to a camera before the San
Grumpy Cat gets up close to a camera before the San Francisco Giants play the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sep. 7, 2015 at Chase Field in Phoenix. Rob Schumacher/azcentral
Sep 7, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa poses Internet personality Grumpy Cat  and ownber Tabitha Bundesen prior to the game against the San Francisco Giants  with at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-217468 ORIG FILE ID:  20150907_kkt_ak4_321.jpg
Arizona Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa poses with Grumpy Cat and owner Tabitha Bundesen on Sept. 7, 2015 in Phoenix. Matt Kartozian, USA TODAY Sports
PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 04:  'Grumpy Cat' on the field before the MLB opening day game between the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on April 4, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 607674675 ORIG FILE ID: 519178494
Grumpy Cat on the field before the MLB opening day game between the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 4, 2016 in Phoenix. Christian Petersen, Getty Images
Grumpy Cat meets her public and faces a couple of carved
Grumpy Cat meets her public and faces a couple of carved jack-o-lanterns made in her likeness, at the PetSmart in Surprise, Ariz. on Oct. 2, 2014 Charlie Leight/The Republic
Grumpy Cat, aka Tardar Sauce, shows her familiar and
Grumpy Cat, aka Tardar Sauce, shows her familiar and unfriendly feline mug on Oct. 2, 2014, in Surprise, Ariz. while posing with a Grump-O-Lantern carved by local artist Ray Villafane. The artist is internationally renowned for his skills at carving the gourds into delightful shapes. Charlie Leight/The Republic
Grumpy Cat  arrives on the red carpet for the 2014 MTV Movie Awards at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, California, on April 13, 2014.   AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWNFREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images ORG XMIT: 480854031 ORIG FILE ID: 528952939
Grumpy Cat arrives on the red carpet for the 2014 MTV Movie Awards  in Los Angeles on April 13, 2014. FREDERIC J. BROWN, AFP/Getty Images
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 04:  Former NFL player Terrell Owens and Grumpy Cat attend SiriusXM at Super Bowl 50 Radio Row at the Moscone Center on February 4, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Sirius) ORG XMIT: 598497175 ORIG FILE ID: 508431696
Former NFL player Terrell Owens and Grumpy Cat attend SiriusXM at Super Bowl 50 Radio Row at the Moscone Center on February 4, 2016 in San Francisco. Cindy Ord, Getty Images for Sirius
Aubry Plaza and 'Grumpy Cat' in a promo photo for the television motion picture "Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever." CREDIT: Lifetime [Via MerlinFTP Drop]
Aubry Plaza and Grumpy Cat in a promo photo for the television motion picture “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever.” Lifetime
epa07577915 (FILE) - Grumpy Cat is held by his owner Tabatha Bundesen (out of frame) next to a red basket in which sits a new replica of him (R) made of fiberglass, silicon, and fake hair, at Madame Tussauds wax museum in San Francisco, California, USA, 08 December 2015 (reissued 17 May 2019). The internet celebrity cat from Arizona, USA -- named Tardar Sauce and commonly known as Grumpy Cat for his facial appearance -- has died aged seven on 14 May 2019 following health complications, media reported.  EPA-EFE/BARBARA MUNKER  GERMANY OUT
Grumpy Cat is held by his owner Tabatha Bundesen (out of frame) next to a red basket in which sits a new replica of her (R) made of fiberglass, silicon, and fake hair, at Madame Tussauds wax museum in San Francisco, California,  Dec. 8, 2015 BARBARA MUNKER, EPA-EFE
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR FRISKIES - FriskiesÆ Party Mixô celebrates its official spokescat Grumpy Cat's "Super Terrible Twos" birthday on Tuesday, April 29, in New York City. (Brian Ach/AP Images for Friskies) ORG XMIT: CPA730
Grumpy Cat celebrates with a “Super Terrible Twos” birthday party on April 29, 2014 in New York City.  Brian Ach, AP Images for Friskies
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 29:  Grumpy Cat attends the 2015 Hollywood Christmas Parade on November 29, 2015 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for The Hollywood Christmas Parade) ORG XMIT: 593302221 ORIG FILE ID: 499222968
Grumpy Cat attends the 2015 Hollywood Christmas Parade on November 29, 2015 in Hollywood, Calif. Mike Windle, Getty Images for The Hollywood Christmas Parade
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR FRISKIES - Friskies ìspokescatî Grumpy Cat sits on Santaís lap at the world premiere event to debut the first-ever holiday music video ìHard to Be a Cat at Christmasî supporting the cause of wet cat food for all cats this holiday season, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, at Capitol Records in Los Angeles. The video is available at www.friskies.com/holiday.  (Bret Hartman/AP Images for Friskies) ORG XMIT: CPANY205
Grumpy Cat sits on Santa’s lap at a Friskies promotional event for the first-ever holiday music video ‘Hard to Be a Cat at Christmas’ on Dec. 10, 2013, at Capitol Records in Los Angeles. Bret Hartman, AP Images for Friskies
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 01:  Grumpy Cat attends the premiere of "Cinderella" at the El Capitan Theatre on March 1, 2015 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic) ORG XMIT: 538643551 ORIG FILE ID: 464919104
Grumpy Cat attends the premiere of “Cinderella” on March 1, 2015 in Los Angeles. Jason LaVeris, FilmMagic
INGLEWOOD, CA - MARCH 28:  Grumpy Cat attends Nickelodeon's 28th Annual Kids' Choice Awards held at The Forum on March 28, 2015 in Inglewood, California.  (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage) ORG XMIT: 543522063 ORIG FILE ID: 467944750
Grumpy Cat attends Nickelodeon’s 28th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards held at The Forum on March 28, 2015 in Inglewood, Calif. Lester Cohen, WireImage
Sep 7, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Internet personality Grumpy Cat  looks on prior to the game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-217468 ORIG FILE ID:  20150907_kkt_ak4_316.jpg
Internet personality Grumpy Cat looks on prior to the game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Francisco Giants in Phoenix on Sept. 7, 2015. Matt Kartozian, USA TODAY Sports
Grumpy Cat, online and publishing feline phenomenon, is seen with her owner Tabatha Bundesen. The famous cat died earlier this week.
Grumpy Cat, online and publishing feline phenomenon, is seen with her owner Tabatha Bundesen. Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY

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