Late last week, Grumpy Cat was holding court in an undisclosed studio set on East Sixth Street. The 11-month old feline lounged sullenly on a plush maroon couch in a room that was decorated to look like a pseudo-Victorian parlor. She grudgingly tolerated the excited coos of the reporters and bloggers who had been selected for a coveted 15-minute “interview” window with one of the most famous cats on the Internet. “Don’t tell anyone where we are—we’d be mobbed,” one of the people involved in the video shoot told me.
The cat food company, Friskies, had flown Grumpy Cat to Austin for SXSW to participate in “ Will Kitty Play With It?,” which Friskies dubbed “the first ever game show for cats!” (Also, for anyone who was wondering, the members of Friskies’s creative team have business cards shaped like cans of cat food and awesome titles like “Deputy Catmaginator.” And if you were the employee who thought of bringing in Grumpy Cat, you deserve a raise.)
Grumpy Cat attained Internet stardom last September, after Bryan Bundesen posted a few photos of the angry-looking creature on Reddit. When people argued that the cat looked Photoshopped, Bryan posted a video on YouTube. “I thought it would get some laughs,” he said. Grumpy Cat’s videos have now received more than 15 million views. Grumpy’s trip to SXSW was only her second time flying: in December, she traveled to New York to appear on the Today Show and to stop by the BuzzFeed offices, a visit which resulted in this remarkable slideshow.
Grumpy Cat spends most of her days in Morristown, Arizona, a town of 227 in rural Maricopa County, where she lives with Tabatha Bundesen, Bryan’s sister. Tabatha, a 27-year-old