The furry sensation’s family announced her death on Twitter on Friday.
“We are unimaginably heartbroken to announce the loss of our beloved Grumpy Cat,” Tabatha Bundesen, Grumpy Cat’s owner, said.
“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,” Bundesen, who lives in Morristown Arizona, wrote.
Users on the platform immediately reacted by posting countless Photoshopped variations on the original, while the photo’s Imgur page reached 1,030,000 views in its first 48 hours.
On the same day, the Bundesen family posted video clips of Tardar Sauce on YouTube, which racked up millions of views.
“It was suggested that the original photo was Photoshopped, so we posted a few videos on YouTube,” the owners said on the official Grumpy Cat website.
Grumpy Cat became such a cultural phenomenon that she inspired art projects, perfumes, merchandise, Skechers shoes, comics and even a “Grumppuccino” coffee.
Last year, US coffee company Grenade was ordered to pay the Bundesens $710,000 for exceeding an agreement to use her image.
At the time of her death, Grumpy Cat had 1.5 million followers on Twitter, 2.4 million on Instagram and 8.5 million on Facebook.