Monday 1 May 2023

How much did Grumpy Cat earn throughout her 7-year life?

There was a lot of talk all over the internet and on news media about Grumpy cat earning around $100 million in her life or part of her life (April 4, 2012 – May 14, 2019).
You'll see this number repeated all the time but since her premature death on May 14th, 2019 at the age of 7, there has a correction by Tabatha Bundesen, Grumpy Cat's owner. She denies that the $100 million figure is accurate. She does not tell us the true figure. 

How much did Grumpy Cat earn throughout her 7-year life?
Bundesen and Tardar Sauce, the cat she exploited to make millions. Image in the public domain (believed).

It is hard to envisage her earnings being higher than $100 million, therefore they were lower. 

In fact, the language that she used in her denial hints at the more likely true figure. She described the report as "completely false" to the Huffington Post.

'Completely false' indicates that $100m was very wide off the mark and in my view a greatly overestimated number. For example, if Bundesen had said that the $100m was 'slightly false' we'd know that it was fairly close and a little high.

'Completely' indicates that the $100m is probably about 3 times too high on a guess. If I am correct Bundesen made around $30m from all the endorsements and appearances over her life.

Bundesen successfully sued one business for $700,000 for example. That gives us a clue as to the type of numbers involved.

Wikipedia plays very safe and says that she earned between $1m and $100m! Not very precise!

Tardar Sauce (her real name) was very big at the time. He earnings must have been in the many millions. We just don't know how many millions.

Bundesen was a waiter before her cat became the world's biggest ever cat celebrity. I'd expect her to be set up for life financially. She won't have to work again.

The sad part is that Grump Cat owed her considerable fame to her deformed anatomy. Her short legs and diminutive body and importantly her downturned mouth giving the grumpy appearance were all due to dwarfism. This was a distorted anatomy and her health was poor as she died well before her time.

She was exploited really. Harsh to say that but it has to be true. If we did the same thing with a human the person involved would have been successful prosecuted for criminal behavior! It is a funny old world.

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