“Grumpy Cat is available for interview”.
Thus spoke a press release sent to Australian media in July, announcing the Australian publication of Grumpy Cat’s coffee table book – Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book. “Filled with fun activities, classic quips, snarky put-downs, and (of course) new photos of Grumpy Cat doing grumpy things, this book cements Grumpy Cat’s status as the banner-bearer for the eternally grumpy.”
The book was published mid-July in America, in the same week that the world famous internet cat — real name Tardar Sauce — announced her first line of beverages: The Grumppaccino (“It’s Awfully Good™”).
The products followed a hectic few months for Tard. In March, she was flown to Texas by Friskies, to take part in some SxSW panels and film a few endorsements. Thanks to her on-camera success, there were morning show appearances, prestigious photoshoots, and even a feature in The Wall Street Journal.
The book deal, then, was a no-brainer. So too were the signings.
To cement the global domination of the cat’s brand, Australian publisher Hardie Grant picked up the rights to the book, which they published last month.
I sent the following questions to Grumpy Cat on August 13. She sent the answers back this morning. It takes time to type when your fingers are stuck so close together, and also are part of a paw.
On Being Grumpy Cat
Junkee: Hi Tardar Sauce, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I love you.
The Friskies endorsement, the morning show appearances, the coverage in Forbes and The Wall Street Journal, the line of milk-based drinks – and now, a book! Did you ever expect this all to go this far?
Grumpy Cat: I have low expectations. The best kind.
Has your newfound fame affected your social life at all?
GC: I get to travel more. Oh, and Pokey [Grumpy Cat's brother] has asked me to borrow some kibble a couple of times.
Obviously the Grumpy Cat persona has been inspired by you, but real personalities are rarely so two-dimensional. What would the internet be surprised to find out about the REAL Tardar Sauce?
GC: That my favourite thing to do is sleep.
There must be a lot of pressure on you to exude grumpiness all the time. Do you ever wake up in a good mood, and feel as though you have to supress it for the good of the brand?
GC: What is a “good mood”?
Why do you think the world has fallen so in love with you?
GC: I give people an opportunity to embrace the fact that there are many things that annoy them every day.
On Pop Culture And The Internet
Junkee is predominantly a pop culture site. I’m sure you consume a lot of pop culture yourself. What are your favourite films and TV shows?
GC: I am partial to the episodes of Sesame Street that include Oscar The Grouch.
Is there much competition amongst internet cats? How important is it to define yourselves, to stand out from the pack? (Lil Bub’s the cute one, you’re the cranky one, Keyboard Cat’s the muso, Nyan Cat is the philosopher etc…)
GC: They say dogs run in packs, but our crew of cats does, too.
Actress Alison Brie impersonated you recently. How did you feel about that?
GC: I like her characters on Mad Men and Community, but she should leave the grumpiness to the professionals.
Where do you stand on the issue of marriage equality?
On Writing And The Arts
Why did you want to write this book?
GC: To help people get in touch with their inner grump.
What is your favourite book, and why?
GC: I just finished Les Miserables. It is a good book, but not enough misery.
There is a lot of fan art out there that people have made for you. How do you feel about each of these?
1. Grumpy Cat/Les Miserables Mash-Up: Le Miserable
Grumpy Cat: A good effort.
2. Vincent van No, By sagittariusgallery
Grumpy Cat: Makes me want to cut my ear off.
3. Grumpy Cat As Darth Vadar Tattoo (anon)
Grumpy Cat: The Farce is strong in that one.
4. Grumpy Cat With Cherubs, A Tokuhiro Kawai Mash-Up
Grumpy Cat: Annoying, but well-executed.
5. Grumpy Cat As David Bowie, By David Noie (available here)
Grumpy Cat: Looks like I went through some ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.
6. A Commissioned Portrait Of A Fan As A Centaur, Flying Through Space With Fire While Holding Aloft Grumpy Cat As A Seal:
Grumpy Cat: Epic
Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book is out now through Hardie Grant.