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Internet Sensation and Meme Queen Grumpy Cat Is Dead at 7

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It's a sad day for animal lovers and meme addicts alike. Grumpy Cat, the sour-faced kitty whose signature grimace launched her into internet stardom, has died at age 7.

The death was announced on Friday on Twitter.

"We are unimaginably heartbroken to announce the loss of our beloved Grumpy Cat," reads the tweet.

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"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.

"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."

Grumpy Cat, real name Tardar Sauce, became a viral hit in 2012 when her owner's brother posted pictures of her on Reddit. From there, the site's users made memes featuring the feline, often adding text over the original image for comedic effect.

Know Your Meme
Know Your Meme

Since then, Grumpy Cat has amassed 1.5 million followers on Twitter, 2.4 million on Instagram and 8.5 million on Facebook and has landed merchandise deals ranging from Sketchers shoes to perfume. She even appeared in a commercial for Honey Nut Cheerios, tested her wrestling chops on WWE Monday Night Raw and was named the "biggest star" of South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive 2013 by CNN and CBS. (Her competition? Only Elon Musk, Al Gore and Neil Gaiman.)

The small sensation's owners attribute her tiny frame and distinctly disgruntled face to feline dwarfism, a condition Grumpy Cat shares with fellow famous cat Lil Bub. While Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub's dwarfism is caused by a one-off genetic mutation, some breeders encourage the mutation to produce short-legged cats. Although cats with dwarfism are definitely cute, these felines are at a higher risk for a number of health problems, including arthritis and hormonal abnormalities.

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