Early on Friday, May 17th 2019, the sad news came of the death of Internet feline sensation Grumpy Cat, just seven years old. The Greats always go in threes, and Grumpy Cat was preceded into eternity that week by singer/actress Doris Day and comedian Tim Conway. Grumpy, whose given name was Tarder Sauce, actually passed on the 14th, following complications from a UTI infection. One of the most photographed felines in history, Grumpy Cat had 1.4 million Twitter followers, countless internet memes and merchandise, and a loyal fan base who will mourn her passing.
Grumpy Cat first burst upon the scene on Sept. 22, 2012, after Bryan Bundesen, the brother of her owner Tabatha Bundesen, posted a photograph of her on Reddit. The pic garnered more than 1 million views on Imgur in 48 hours. Her eternal scowl, created by a severe underbite and feline dwarfism, made her a viral sensation, and Grumpy’s frown captured the zeitgeist of the nation; by the end of the year, MSNBC named her 2012’s most influential cat.
But Grumpy didn’t stop there! Her amazing popularity allowed mommy Tabatha to retire from her full-time waitress job in 2013, as she managed her fur baby’s career. Grumpy Cat became an icon of charming disaffection, with guest appearances on such TV shows as Today, Good Morning America, American Idol, and The Bachelorette. Her disgruntled visage graced such vaunted publications as Time, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and New York Magazine. For half a decade she was the official spokescat for Friskies cat food, and in 2014, she starred in Lifetime’s Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever, where she finally acquired her deadpan voice. As of May 2019, Grumpy Cat had 8.5 million Facebook followers, 2.4 million Instagram followers, 1.5 million Twitter followers, and 1,082 merchandise items for sale in her online shop.
So can we really learn something astrologically from the rise and fall of Grumpy Cat? You betcha! The cosmos doesn’t discriminate against species, and Fate isn’t anthropocentric.
Born 4 April 2012, Grumpy’s 15 Aries Sun fits snugly into a T-Square with the US Sun and Saturn at 13 Cancer and 14 Libra, tapping her into the core essence of the nation via her career. A broad square to asteroid Photographica at 23 Capricorn hints at the potential for being identified with her image, while associated squares to Pluto and asteroid Katz (phonetic match for “cats”) at 9 and 11 Capricorn establishes her species and shows the powerful feline influence she became. Although not within orb of the Sun, asteroid Kitty at 3 Cap also conjoins Pluto, doubly down on the “feline powerhouse” vibe.
A broad conjunction with Uranus at 5 Aries indicates the internet connection, we well as her somewhat exotic looks, while a tight inconjunct to asteroid Tarter at 16 Virgo, a phonetic match for her given name of Tardar Sauce, conforms to the typical human characteristic of having solar contacts to one’s own PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids). Kitty at 3 Cap more closely squared Uranus reinforces her internet presence and quirky style.
Two patterns from her birth chart repeat at her death: in both cases, there is a solar Yod, or Finger of destiny, with inconjunct aspects from the Sun to asteroids Rip and Requiem, two death indicators. Requiem is named for the funeral mass for the dead, and Rip functions well as a death indicator in its capacity as the acronym RIP, “Rest In Peace”, a common tombstone inscription. At her birth, these are at 21 Scorpio and 21 Virgo respectively, both inconjunct the Sun at 15 Aries on the Apex. At her death, their positions are reversed, with Requiem at 21 Libra and Rip at 19 Sagittarius, and again the Sun at Apex from 23 Taurus. Over all, this suggests a death which is both memorable (Rip) and celebrated (Requiem; in the sense of being widely acknowledged, not applauded). Having these same points active in the same configuration, both at birth and death, is quite remarkable.
The other pattern which repeats in both charts is a conjunction of Venus with asteroid Fellini, named for the famed Italian director, but here doing double cosmic duty as a stand-in for “feline”. Venus pairs with Fellini at 0 Gemini and 29 Taurus in the nativity, and at 28 and 26 Aries in the death chart, both suggestive of a well-beloved, popular (Venus) kitty (Fellini).
Tarder Sauce’s internet alter ego is represented by asteroid Grundy, for “Grumpy”, which opposes her birth name asteroid Tarter from 10 Pisces, where it conjoins Neptune at 2, ruler of aliases, incognitos, and false or fantasy identities.
Jupiter at 14 Taurus is semisextile the Sun, conferring some degree of “luck”, but more importantly, also in trine to Pluto/Katz, indicating a feline (Katz) of fame and distinction (Jupiter), for whom success and recognition (also Jupiter) come almost effortlessly (trine), and whose life is transformed (Pluto) by the contact. These form a Grand Trine with Tarter, personalizing these energies to Grumpy Cat specifically.
When Grumpy passed on May 14th, as noted above, the solar Yod with death indicators from birth was repeated, as was the Venus/Fellini combination denoting her popularity. But the Sun was also involved in an Out-of-Sign Grand Cross, opposing asteroid Kitty at 28 Scorpio, squaring Anubis (named for the Egyptian deity governing funerary rites) and Damocles (the doom hanging unseen overhead) at 20 and 28 Aquarius, with Osiris (named for the Egyptian god of the dead) at 1 Virgo. This shows a focus for the day (Sun) on the unexpected (Damocles) passing (Anubis/Osiris) of a feline (Kitty). Transit asteroid Tarter at 16 Leo is broadly squared the Sun and opposed Anubis, but is too wide to include in the total Grand Cross pattern, though it does square natal Requiem at 21 Scorpio. Natal Osiris at 27 Scorpio closely conjunct transit Kitty fits into the Grand Cross easily, which also incorporates natal Fellini/Venus and natal Anubis, at 29 Leo.
Transit asteroid Katz at 1 Aquarius is at the Apex of a Yod with inconjuncts to Osiris and Nemesis at 5 Cancer, representing ruin or downfall. Nemesis also opposes natal Kitty/Pluto/Katz, with Pluto as modern lord of death. Transit Lachesis at 19 Gemini, named for the mythic Greek Fate who determines the span of life, opposes transit Rip and Jupiter, at 19 and 22 Sagittarius, indicating the death (Lachesis/Rip) of a celebrity (Jupiter). This becomes a T-Square with the inclusion of asteroids Grundy and Atropos, named for the Fate who severs the thread of life at death, at 24 and 26 Pisces. These connect to natal Nemesis, also at 22 Sag, exactly conjunct transit Jupiter, and natal Rip at 21 Virgo, as well as natal Lachesis at 27 Pisces.
Transit Requiem at 21 Libra broadly opposes the natal Sun, and forms a T-Square with transit Saturn, ancient lord of death, at 20 Capricorn, and Pluto, modern lord of death, at 23 Cap, which is exactly conjunct natal Photographica, her image, the source of Grumpy’s success.
Grumpy Cat may not have been everyone’s cup of catnip, but in a world populated with hairballs, she was, to these eyes at least, darn near purrrrrfect.