Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe Arizona recently had a very special guest signing at their store. A very Grumpy guest. You’re correct if you’re thinking internet sensation Tardar Sauce AKA Grumpy Cat. It takes a special feline to write a book and this little munchkin meme has done it. Tabatha Bundesen (Grumpy Cat’s owner) might have had a hand in creating Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book. Tarder’s book is filled with puzzles and games to pass the time as fans patiently awaited the opportunity to greet her. The purchase of this book allowed for one picture with Grumpy Cat.
When I arrived, the parking lot was overflowing with cars and anxious fans. Tard’s manager had some concerns about my Powergirl garb, but how could I possibly give up the chance to meet Grumpy Cat in cosplay? Changing Hands did a great job controlling the crowd utilizing a letter system to organize the events patrons.
While waiting for my chance to meet Tard the Grumpy Cat, I overheard some disappointing murmurs of once excited followers. That’s one way to spread the grumpiness. With the extent of “petsploitation” this cat has endured, followers seem to expect more from this once simple house pet. Having a Facebook fanpage chock full of over one million followers, T-shirts, memes, calendars, a beverage line, and who knows what else coming soon, this little ball of fur is beloved and revered more than an Egyptian Cat God. All in all we must remember that this is a CAT. This one just so happens to be a munchkin. Although they are bred to look like kittens their entire lives, these miniature felines still maintain the same characteristics as a standard house cat.
So how does one keep a cat from freaking out, running away, and peeing uncontrollably? Perhaps it was the insistence of no flash photography or the disallowing of touching the megastar. I have no idea. But this pretty kitty stayed in her basket quietly greeting her fans. Ok not exactly greeting. She just lay there, in and out of consciousness. Some claim she might have been drugged, others say she has some sort of disability. That’s right, a disability. The interwebs are buzzing with complaints from cat lovers claiming that Grumpy Cat suffers from Down Syndrome and shouldn’t be exploited. I say if Corky, from Life Goes On, can handle a life as a handi-capable celebrity, Tardar Sauce can handle her Meow Mix on a silver spoon.
After my picture I was directed to a table for my “pawtograph”. This was a stamp that I personally had placed on a Project:Shadows sketch cover with Grumpy Cat drawn by artist Alfred Trujillo. As a final parting gift attendees had the choice of a button or a poster of Tarder Sauce.
News crews kept their distance while filming this display of fandom and steered clear of communications with event patrons. Even I was approached and informed that I was not to engage in communications with attendees in a media capacity. There were no interviews being done and no inquires into the opinions of Grumpy’s fans. However, Changing Hands was allowed to record for their own purposes including footage to help in opening a new branch of the store in the Phoenix area. Look for that in the near future.