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Viral sensation Grumpy Cat has died at 7

The cat, whose real name was Tardar Sauce, rocketed to internet stardom in 2012 thanks to her perpetually frowning face.
/ Source: TODAY

Sad news about one of the internet's most famous cats has left us grumpy.

Grumpy Cat, the internet sensation whose sourpuss became online shorthand for feeling grouchy, died on Tuesday at 7 years old, her family announced on Friday morning.

The cat, whose real name was Tardar Sauce, died at home in Arizona from complications from a urinary tract infection, her owner wrote on Grumpy Cat's Twitter account, which has 1.5 million followers.

"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," the post said.

"Her spirit will continue to live on through her fans everywhere."

Tardar Sauce first became known in 2012 when Bryan Bundesen, the brother of the cat's owner, Tabatha Bundesen, posted a picture on Reddit that said, "Meet grumpy cat."

Tardar Sauce's frowny face, which Tabatha Bundesen said was caused by dwarfism, quickly became one of the internet's most popular memes.

"I posted the first picture on Reddit and it went wild - people loved her,'' Bryan Bundesen told TODAY in 2012. "We think it's because she looks so grumpy that you can't help but be happy when you look at her. She's like a stress-reliever for everybody.

"I've received so many messages from people saying that (her pictures) make them feel so happy."

While her face looked like she wasn't having a great time, that didn't reflect Grumpy Cat's actual disposition.

"She's so docile,'' Bryan Bundesen said on TODAY. "She loves to be held, petted. She's a super happy cat and she just lays around and looks grumpy."

The cat made millions of dollars for her owners with everything from a Lifetime Christmas movie, "Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever," to a book that reached No. 7 on The New York Times' advice, how-to and miscellaneous best-seller list.

Grumpy Cat also appeared on T-shirts and Christmas cards, with part of the proceeds being donated to animal shelters.