The past week has been really rough for me. I won't get into all the details, but between stress and personal issues, it has been a hellish week. Some days, the only thing that kept me sane was surfing the wonders of the Internet, from YouTube videos to memes. These are the things that cheer me up when I'm down. Especially the memes. I love Internet memes. Not only are they freaking hilarious, but they give me something to bond with my students over--I can't even tell you how many times I have used or referenced memes in class. Maybe it's a generational thing.
This week in particular, one specific meme has been perfect--both because it basically sums up my own attitude this week in a humorous way and because...well, it's just absurdly funny. It's fairly new, but you may have already seen it in the pootie diaries.
If that doesn't make you laugh, there is no hope for you. Seriously.
When I first saw this cat, my initial thought (besides "OMG IT LOOKS LIKE A GRUMPY OLD MAN I WANT ONE!!!!!!111!11one") was that there was no way it could be real. No cat looks like that.
But, after a little bit of research, it is indeed real. And it is not a grumpy old man...it's a grumpy old woman. Her name is Tardar [sic] Sauce, or Tard for short. More about Tard below the thingamabob.
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Tard made her debut in the Internet world this fall, when Bryan Bundeson posted her picture on Reddit, launching Tard into ridiculous popularity. When her picture was posted on Imgur, she received over a million views within a day. For obvious reasons. Many people, like myself, had suspicions that the photo was fake, but Tard's owner created a YouTube channel, where you can see several videos of the cat in full grumpy glory. This is my personal favorite:
When Tard was a kitten, Bunderson's sister Tabatha's (the actual owner of the cat) daughter thought her speckled fur made her look like tartar sauce. She wrote the name as "Tardar Sauce," and it stuck. It was then shortened to Tard.
According to a recent USA Today article on Tard, her debut on the Internet is already generating money from promotional gear.
Now, the grumpy face is on T-shirts, greeting cards and Internet pages everywhere. Bundesen said that the same man who helps with merchandise for two other well-known cats, Nyan Cat and Piano Cat, is helping with Tardar's promotional gear.Tard also has a Twitter account and a Tumblr page, in addition to the aforementioned website. Despite her Internet fame, she is still not amused.
He said the official site, www.grumpycats.com, has been averaging between 16,000 and 32,000 unique visitors per day. Grumpy Cat's official YouTube channel has almost 6.4 million views and more than 12,000 subscribers.
"We have sold over 17,000 Christmas cards and we are donating a portion of the proceeds to charity," Bundesen said. "Our first donation was made today to Sun Cities 4 Paws Rescue Inc, a no-kill shelter that is near Grumpy Cat."
Actually, according to Bunderson and Tabatha, Tard is not nearly as grumpy as she looks.
"The cat is really cuddly and calm, she's good with all the pictures," [Bunderson] said. "She doesn't try to run away, she just meanders around. She doesn't weigh much, either."Bunderson speculates as to why Tard is so popular (and I think he's spot-on):
Her older brother, Pokey, is more cranky. He makes several appearances on the Grumpy Cat website.
He said that part of Tardar Sauce's appeal may be that grumpy people find her relatable.The best thing about Tard isn't the photos or the videos...it's the memes that are created using her picture.
"If people are feeling grumpy, they like those photos," he said.
"It feels really awesome, with everything the world faces, just to be spreading joy like that," Tabatha said.
Come on, you know this made your night brighter!