Flying too close to the sun, or, how I met Grumpy Cat

Her birth name may be Tardar Sauce (sic), but the Internet has rechristened and reclaimed her as its own – and you and I know her as Grumpy Cat. Yes, that all too lovable cat curmudgeon has risen to Web infamy since her owner posted that disgruntled mug on Reddit this past fall, and we all fell in love.

gc memeThe rest, as they say, is (meme) history.

Naturally, Grumpy Cat is making an appearance at SXSW at the Mashable House, which went whole hog on the meme madness, featuring appearances from Scumbag Steve and the Nyan Cat creator as well. But these humans have nothing on the queue Grumpy Cat earned; the line wrapped around the block. In the rain. Even VIP badge holders were waiting, umbrellas or no, for a glimpse of Grumpy Cat.

Including me.

Doors opened at noon, local time, so I figured showing up around 11:30 a.m. to see, allow me to remind you, a cat, was more than generous. I was very, very wrong. The line was already wrapped around the corner, with somewhere around 100 adoring fans in front of me. Some were wearing Grumpy Cat shirts. Others practicing Grumpy Cat faces. All were ready to worship at the Grumpy Cat shrine.

Fortunately, I snagged a bracelet that let me skip a considerable part of the line (no shame) – but it deposited me into yet another line, this one approximately 40 people long. At this point, I’d been waiting for about an hour-and-a-half to meet a cat.

But I wasn’t alone – hardly. It was almost like the reception line of a coronation; people weren’t banshee-screaming like Beyoncé had just walked in, they were quietly waiting for their turns to greet the King (Queen?). The King of the Meme. The cat King of the Meme – which in Internetland, is the equivalent of Jesus. 

Finally, I made it inside the doors and out of the rain. I was briefed on the rules as my turn neared: No touching. One person at a time. I was told I may not interview Grumpy Cat. I wouldn’t dare, anyway. One look at that icy stare and I’d be silenced.

And then, my turn. I stepped up to the throne pillow upon which Grumpy Cat sat, held there by two handlers. Yes, two. A few things you may not realize about Grumpy Cat: She is very, very tiny. Almost kitten-sized, actually, which just makes her perma-disapproval all the more adorable. She is also very sleepy, as the entire time I was inside the building, I did not see her open an eye. (My theory: sedatives. This remains unconfirmed.) Oh, and she is a she. Apparently most people assume Tardar is a male.

I handed my phone over to the rep snapping photos. I positioned my face next to Grumpy Cat, and attempted to mimic her.

grumpy cat

It was all over so fast. My moment in the sun with Grumpy Cat came and went before I even knew what was happening. At the end of all this, I’m both embarrassed and thrilled by my meme-meeting. But I regret nothing. Here’s to you, Grumpy Cat: You are a SXSW treasure.

Smart Home

4 small appliances that have changed the way we cook food (for the better)

These are exciting times for home cooks seeking to advance or simplify their technique in the kitchen, thanks in part to four small appliances that have made a splash in the past few years. Here’s why you should consider buying them.

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.
Home Theater

They were robbed! From Crowe to Pacino, 10 times Oscar voters got it wrong

With the 91st Oscars rapidly approaching, now is a fine time to look back at several Oscar-worthy performances that were completely ignored by the Academy, as well as others that were nominated and astoundingly denied the little naked…

The 25 best love songs on Spotify for your wooing pleasure

Valentine's Day comes but once a year, but love is forever. If you're hoping to impress your significant other -- or if you're trying to procure one -- we put together a list of the best love songs for your wooing pleasure.
Social Media

‘Instagram egg’ embarks on a new adventure as man behind it is unmasked

The Instagram egg made global headlines recently after it became the most-liked post on the photo-sharing app. The person behind the account has now been revealed, as has his reason for choosing an egg for the stunt.
Social Media

Periscope tool adds guests to feeds so streamers can become talk show hosts

Periscope users can now invite viewers to chime into the conversation with more than just the comment tool. By enabling the option to add guests, livestreamers can add guests to the conversation, in audio format only.

Crouching, climbing, and creeping, the perfect Instagram shot knows no bounds

Just how far will you go for the perfect Instagram? A recent survey shows just how willing Instagram users -- and Instagram husbands -- are to climb, lie down, embarrass themselves or let their food go cold for the perfect shot.
Social Media

Facebook’s long-promised ‘unsend’ feature arrives. Here’s how to use it

Send a message to the wrong person? Messenger now gives you 10 minutes to take it back. After an update beginning to roll out today, users can now retract messages if they act within the first 10 minutes after sending the message.
Social Media

YouTube boss admits even her own kids gave the ‘Rewind’ video a thumbs down

YouTube's 2018 Rewind video went down like a lead balloon at the end of last year, becoming the most disliked video in its history. And now YouTube's CEO has admitted that even her own kids thought it was pretty darn awful.
Social Media

Snapchat finally recovers from its redesign — so here comes an Android update

Snapchat's drop in users after launching a controversial redesign has finally stagnated. During the fourth quarter and 2018 earnings report, Snapchat shared that the company is rolling out an Android update designed to increase performance.
Social Media

Skype’s new ‘blur background’ feature could help keep you from blushing

Skype's latest feature for desktop lets you blur your background during video calls. The idea is that it keeps you as the focus instead of distracting others with whatever embarrassing things you might have on show behind you.
Social Media

Twitter users are declining but more people are seeing ads every day

Twitter's end-of-the-year report for 2018 is a mix of good and bad news. The good news is that more users are seeing adds daily, the metric the company will focus on moving forward. But the bad news is that monthly active users are…

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.

YouTube beats Apple, Netflix as the most trusted brand by millennials

The popular video sharing website YouTube climbed up in an annual Mblm study, moving up from third place in 2018 and coming ahead of both Apple and Netflix in final 2019 rankings.