$100 million. Let’s just get that out of the way up front. $100 million, and she’s still frowning.
It’s been barely two years since Grumpy Cat (née Tardar Sauce) first appeared on Reddit September 22nd, 2012. Her cuddly curmudgeonliness inspired us to post not just one but two meme watches about her. She’s gone on to become a New York Times bestselling author with her first of two books (!), as well as having a guest-hosting gig on WWE Raw, a Cheerios commercial, a Friskies endorsement, her own billboard, an unofficial art show, a new brand of iced coffee (Grumppuccino), and a Sesame Street appearance with — fittingly enough — Oscar the Grouch. She also wore Pharrell’s hat and met one of our writers in person, although not at the same time. Did we mention she also has a movie, and it includes this scene?
Those numerous endorsements and personal appearances have generated about $100 million in revenue, some of which went to Grumpy Cat’s lucky benefactor, 28-year-old Tabatha Bundesen from Morristown, Arizona, whose brother posted the first picture on Reddit. Bundesen was working as a waitress when Grumpy Cat went viral. She tells Express, “I was able to quit my job as a waitress within days of her first appearance on social media and the phone simply hasn’t stopped ringing since.”
To put this in perspective, in the past two years Grumpy Cat has pulled in bigger paychecks than Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, Cameron Diaz, and Matt Damon. How was Bundesen able to monetize her cat so successfully? Earlier this year she told The New York Times, “Just kinda go with it. It’s not going to be: ‘Hey, buy this cat, and it’ll get famous.’ It’s going to be: ‘Oh, my gosh, I own this cat, and it got famous!’ I don’t see anybody successfully making their pet famous because they want to. But I guess there are some of those. My best advice is: Love animals. Adopt more of them.”
That’s worth repeating: Love animals. Adopt more of them.
And if you can make mad truckloads of cash from their feline dwarfism, even better.
Meanwhile, my average-looking cat is wondering why we can’t afford the finer things…