The South by Southwest (SXSW) crowd began to form a line at 12 pm, even though the featured guest wouldn’t arrive until 3 pm.
“I literally planned my entire day around this.”
“I convinced my sister to drive up from Houston for this. She doesn’t even have a SXSW badge; this is all she’s going to see.”
The most talked about attendee at SXSW was not SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk. It wasn’t Al Gore or Shaquille O’Neal. It wasn’t even Steve Carrell or Jim Carrey, whose new film, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, premiered at SXSW Film.
No, the reason I, along with a crowd of people, was waiting in a line that wrapped around the Mashable House at SXSW was to see Internet meme sensation, Tardar Sauce, better known as Grumpy Cat.
The famous feline is a dwarf cat whose natural underbite causes it to look disappointed or grumpy. All viral meme jokes aside, there’s something so unusual about the Grumpy Cat that it makes it look endearing and cute. And yet, there’s still the absurdity that hundreds of people are lining up on any given day (Grumpy Cat made two scheduled appearances a day for three days) to see a cat.
“The fact that there are other people in line makes me feel better about my decision to line up myself,” remarked another SXSW-goer.
When it was my turn for my one minute with little Tardar Sauce, I saw that she was apathetically asleep–typical. And yet, I heard someone gushing. “Oh. My. God. This is happening. She is so cute! Hi kitty!” Wait, was that voice mine? Yes. Yes it was. I’d fallen under the Grumpy Cat spell. And if Grumpy Cat didn’t have two handlers and five other posse members surrounding her, I would’ve tried to lure her in my bag with chips. No doubt about it.
You can call it absurd. You can even call it a bit crazy. And yet, there’s something amusing–maybe even inspiring–about a cat whose genetic birth defect made it one of the biggest celebrities of the Internet. Plus, who can resist this little grumpy face?