Early on Friday morning, the internet awoke to the heartbreaking news that Grumpy Cat has died at 7 years old. Grumpy Cat's family shared in a statement that the beloved viral sensation, whose sourpuss and adorably annoyed expression related to so many people, that she suffered "complications" following a recent surgery, and passed away on Tuesday this week.
"We are unimaginably heartbroken to announce the loss of our beloved Grumpy Cat," her family — Tabatha, Bryan, and Chrystal Bundesen from Morristown, Arizona — wrote in a tear-jerking statement on Twitter. "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. She passed away peacefully on the morning of Tuesday, May 14, at home in the arms of her mommy, Tabatha."
It continued, "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 spirit will continue to live on through her fans everywhere."
Indeed, Grumpy Cat has helped countless people laugh and smile over the years.
The viral cat — whose sweet, distinctive look came from "feline dwarfism and an underbite," according to Mental Floss, and inspired millions of hilariously relatable memes — rose to internet fame after a Reddit post went viral in September 2012 that simply read, "Meet Grumpy Cat," as TODAY reported.
According to BuzzFeed News, people had accused Grumpy's dad of photoshopping the annoyed kitty's frown, so he quickly shared this 10-second video below as evidence. And, as they say, the rest is history.
Almost immediately after the world learned of the sweet cat's passing, heartwarming messages of condolences and memories came pouring in, with many sharing photos from events at which they got to meet Grumpy Cat, whose actual name is Tardar Sauce, according to The New York Times.
"I'm so so sorry. The whole world is sharing your pain. Much love to Tabatha, [Bryan] and Chrystal. We're all grieving with you," one fan shared on Twitter. Another penned, "As a Cat Dad of two fur sons my heart hurts for Grumpy Cat and her Family...
On Grumpy Cat's website, run by her owners, her family shared that she was a "perfect little kitty" and despite her fame and internet presence, she lived a normal kitty life "99% of the time."
"She plays, hides, and acts as cats act. (She LOVES to hide behind the curtains!) She isn't in front of a camera all of the time like many people perceive," the family previously shared on their website, adding that they only would take photos "once every week or so" and on the "few occasions" when they met with media. "Tardar Sauce is a member of the family before anything else!" they wrote.
One of the last posts on Grumpy Cat's Instagram page shows her walking with her brother, Pokey, in honor of National Siblings Day. "Another Annoying #NationalSiblingsDay," the photo's caption read.
From relatable Christmas t-shirts that sum up the holidays, to partnerships with Garfield the Cat, to perhaps the greatest cat memes of all time, Grumpy Cat has left an incredible legacy behind. The internet and her countless fans will undoubtedly miss her sweet, grumpy glare — RIP, Tardar Sauce.