Meme of the year: Grumpy Cat

Psy's Gangnam Style may be the most popular YouTube video of all time, with 1.05 billion views, but there are other measures of popularity that say much about other things. In the old days of comedy, being mocked by talk show hosts like Conan O`Brien is one example. But in the social era, where anyone can be a comedian and the hive mind collectively produces one, memes rule. One clearly stands above all others, at least during second half of 2012: Grumpy Cat.

Surely you've seen this feline somewhere. She has a tumblr, Twitter, website and YouTube, and across the social interwebs she has something to say nasty just about everything. To family, she is Tardar Sauce. To the Internet: Tard, or simply Grumpy Cat. She is the rarest of the rare: snowshoe cat, with genetic defect producing perpetual frown.

Tard got her start in a casual Reddit post, making her one of the truly social sensations. There was no marketing plan. No public relations strategy. Simply an owner posting photos of a beloved, but unusual looking, feline on a social network popular among geeks. As sterotypes go, geeks really do love their cats. Everything that followed, including Grumpy Cat merchandise, started from social media demand -- someone asking for it. But, of course, Tard's fame is socially driven. Her owners feed the beast with daily photos, from which captioned versions are everywhere.

Maybe you've seen for Christmas "Your gift is in the litterbox". In the slideshow above, there is more for your grumpy delights, showing this cat's big social media popularity. I pulled the photos from various social media sites. Please contribute links to others in comments. Oh and for the record, it's my understanding Tardar Sauce only looks grumpy. She's quite happy.

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