NEW YORK — Celebrity cat alert. Grumpy Cat is in the house, entourage in tow.
Just how famous is this feline with the frown that launched a thousand memes and millions of YouTube views?
Famous enough for Prince George's royal scowl to be Photoshopped alongside Grumpy's Winston Churchill-like mug.
Grumpy arrives for a cat chat with her owner and owner's brother (Tabatha and Bryan Bundesen), a shades-wearing manager named Ben Lashes, and assorted book publicists.
She's on tour to promote her second book, The Grumpy Guide to Life: Observations by Grumpy Cat. ("If life deals you lemons, throw them at someone.") She's attracted big crowds in L.A., Las Vegas and New York, where the furry author graced fans with her "paw"-tograph (a rubber stamp of her real pawprint).
But despite all the attention, she's no diva; she lets Tabatha flop her tiny body around like a rag doll as she poses for photos for USA TODAY.
There's not even an outrageous demand for a bowl of Friskies!
Grumpy (real name, Tardar Sauce) clawed her way to the top after Bryan posted her photo to Reddit back in 2012. The rest, as they say, is hiss-tory.
Fans began adding funny grumpy sayings to the photos, the morning shows started calling, a book deal was signed. The Grumpy brand keeps growing: The cat is now starring in a Honey Nut Cheerios commercial, and later this month, she's off to Vancouver, British Columbia, to shoot a Lifetime movie, Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever, which will air Nov. 29.
The biggest shocker of all? Grumpy — who has a form of dwarfism, which explains her downturned mouth, huge blue eyes and small size (less than 5 pounds) — is, well, not the least bit grumpy.
"She's very sweet and docile," says Tabatha, 29, who does the talking for her 2-year-old cat, except for an occasional little meow. Tabby (a nickname cat lovers will appreciate) has gone from waitressing to cat-career management thanks to Grumpy's fame.
How does Tabatha, who lives in Morristown, Ariz., with her daughter and a houseful of other cats and dogs, explain it all? "Misery loves company. People feel if Grumpy's having a bad day, too, they can use her as a way to communicate their negative feelings."
Listen up, fans: It's time to really bring the negative. Chronicle Books is sponsoring a contest, #GrumpytownUSA, in which the grumpiest place in America will win a visit from Grumpy Cat.
May the town with the best frown win.