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WTF, Internet? Grumpy Cat’s achievement award proves we don’t know when to stop

WTF Internet 10_20_2013
Image used with permission by copyright holder

I don’t like a lot of things. I’m actually just the vessel that serves as a mouthpiece for the reincarnation of Andy Rooney. If someone under the age of 50 were allowed to be characterized as “cantankerous,” it would be me.

But you know what I do (or rather, did) like? Grumpy Cat.

I admit it. There’s just something about that angry little face that gets me. The dichotomy of an adorable, tiny kitten that has a permanent mean mug just gives me a case of the happy-cries like nothing else.

And for awhile there, we were at optimal Grumpy Cat saturation. There were moments of peak levels where things were getting just a little ridiculous – the SXSW appearance, a variety of “interviews” with the cat were treading down a dangerous path – but for the most part, we were able to keep our cool amidst the insanity.

But that’s all over. We’ve jumped the shark … or the cat. Whatever, it doesn’t matter anymore, because we had a good thing going – a great thing going! – and we did this with it.

grumpy cat pasties
Image used with permission by copyright holder

These are Grumpy Cat pasties. They are just one (two?) of the various atrocities bearing Tardar Sauce’s face you can purchase.

A quick trip into Etsy and Amazon will cure you of any remaining Grumpy Cat adoration you have. There are wall decals, cuff linksearrings, baby onesies, nightlights. There’s a drink call Grumppuccino and I hear it tastes like overexposure and cat tears.

This all has been building up to this week, when The Friskies were held. This is the second annual event for the brand’s awards show (as if you didn’t already know that). During The Friskies, Grumpy Cat was interviewed by celebrities and whiskered (sorry not sorry) down the red carpet. It was a magical night, topped off by Tard’s win for Lifetime Achievement Award. 

(For just a moment here I’m going to dive deep into the cesspool I’m criticizing to point out that Friskies sponsors Grumpy Cat, so uh, collusion, anyone? Conflict of interest? No?)

First of all, a lifetime is usually a sum of many years – and Grumpy Cat is whopping one year old, so let’s not count our chickens before they hatch, OK Friskies? Second of all – have you lost your minds!? We have taken a beautiful-yet-curmudgeonly thing and vaulted it to such heights that it’s a joke. No – it was a joke and now we’ve effectively made jokes about the joke to the point where we’re all sort of half-laughing and looking around to see if anyone else still thinks this is funny, or if they’re faking it in confusion too.

Is this good?! Are we laughing?! Are we all still having fun?! I don’t know anymore!

It’s just like us to take a wonderful thing and exploit it to the point that it’s stopped being funny and started being sadly perplexing. It’s not Grumpy Cat’s fault, I’m not even sure it’s our fault, and it’s too easy to blame the brands.

It was just a perfect storm; the Internet plus an oddly adorable cat plus marketer’s renewed interest in viral marketing … it couldn’t haven’t gone any other way.

But now, it’s time to cool it. Maybe giving Grumps the “Lifetime Achievement” award is a good way for her to bow out gracefully. Have we not laughed enough at that puzzlingly judging face? What more can we ask from this meme?

So no, I don’t want to see that new Imgur Grumpy cat image you made, and I’m allowing only three Grumpy Cat sightings before I get a rage stroke on Halloween. We had a good laugh, and now it’s time to pack our bags, and move on to the next one … which we can then overuse to the point that we don’t know what the Internet even was, or who we are without it. 

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Molly McHugh
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before coming to Digital Trends, Molly worked as a freelance writer, occasional photographer, and general technical lackey…
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