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Grumpy Cat's starpower spans worldwide

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PHOENIX -

When we interviewed a cat with a grumpy face back in September of last year -- we never imagined back then that we were in the presence of a future international superstar known as Grumpy Cat.

You know a picture is worth a thousand words, but in the case of this little cat from Arizona, her picture proved to be worth thousands of dollars. Maybe millions.

We caught up with her recently as she was being interviewed by the international press, to find out if Grumpy Cat's success has gone to her grumpy little head.

You would never know it by looking at her face, but life is very, very good for Grumpy Cat these days.

Everywhere she goes people gather round to take a picture with her. She caused a frenzy at the FOX 10 Studios.

The cat with a perma-frown seems to bring an instant-smile to everyone's face.

International journalist Jeff Maysh sums it up perfectly.

"I think everyone relates to Grumpy Cat because she's just got that face that everyone can relate to. Who hasn't woke up and felt like Grumpy Cat looks?" says Maysh.

Maysh was in Arizona following Grumpy Cat for the day for a feature in a top Australian magazine.

"When the editor of New Idea first saw Grumpy Cat on the television, she said you've got to get her in the magazine. So we were sent rather a long way here to Phoenix to track her down and get that exclusive Australian interview."

Sounds insane? Traveling 7,785 miles to interview a cat? It is, especially when you consider how it all began for this sourpuss.

It started with that grumpy face on reddit.com 8 months ago and from there things have gone big -- the cover of People magazine -- and there's much more in store for Grumpy Cat.

"She's a cover girl, I never would have imagined it," says Tabby Bundesen, Grumpy Cat's owner.

It began with this snapshot taken by Tabby's brother, posted online.

"My brother Brian is the one that put it up and he had no idea, he just knew that Reddit likes cats. He woke up the next morning and he was like, Tabby that picture had 27,000 uploads."

And that was just the beginning. 27,000 became tens of millions. Grumpy Cat memes took over the internet.

"I had fun once it was horrible."

"They stole my poop again."

The grouchy words matched this grumpy face.

"I'm glad that I'm on TV now the nation knows that I hate them."

Like this one from a screen shot after Grumpy's first appearance on FOX 10 back in September. Tabby realized she had something big in this little cat.

"She is trademarked for photos and the name and I feel like the memes and stuff are free advertisement. If people can portray their mood through her photos, by all means go ahead," says Tabby.

"The way you pet me sucks."

Memes turned into appearances, like the South by Southwest concert, where Grumpy Cat stole the show.

"Grumpy Cat was only there for an hour at a time. She did two hours a day and she just laid in her bed, nobody was allowed to touch her. They could just come in and lean in for a picture. People were lined up for 10 blocks in the rain. They stood there for three hours in the rain. Waiting to get their picture with Grumpy Cat."

That landed a People magazine cover, a stint on the Frisky's cat food website and her own YouTube channel with 20 million views. And now a book and stuffed animal in time for the holidays.

"Her book it's called Grumpy Cat, A Grumpy Book. It has tips on being grumpy. It's available for presale on amazon.com."

"Everyone knows Grumpy Cat around the world and when you tell someone that you've got the big interview and its Grumpy Cat, there's a lot of excitement," says Maysh.

And now international press.

"I've interviewed so many celebrities, this is one of the few times I've been star struck. Seeing Grumpy Cat in the flesh. It was quite an experience."

Kari: "Can you really say in the flesh for a cat?"

"I think so, in the fur?" says Maysh.

"She's just a sweet little cat and we're not doing anything to try to exploit her. The world loves her and passes her picture around," says Tabby.

Will Grumpy Cat make Tabby a millionaire? It's too early to tell. But famous or not, this is one beloved cat.

Though you'd never know it by looking at Grumpy's face

Meme: "If you're happy and you know it... Keep it to yourself."

"Life's great, we're all lucky to be here," says Tabby.

TV show? Movie? It's crossed Tabby's mind. She thinks it could become reality as the fascination with the little grouchy-faced feline grows. We will keep you posted.

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Online: grumpycats.com


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