When initial reports stating that Grumpy Cat, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, is worth more $100 million began making their rounds on the Internet, there was a collective, "Oh, come on!" reaction from 20-somethings everywhere.
Seriously? A freaking CAT is making more money than us, the hard-working Millennial generation? The outcry of injustice and disbelief was real.
Not too long after the initial articles, Grumpy Cat's owner, Tabatha Bundesen, told The Huffington Post that the reported figure was "completely inaccurate." She then declined to give a specific figure of the cat's earnings.
Grumpy Cat's manager, Ben Lashes, stated earlier this summer that the cat had generated almost $100 million in revenue, which may be where the originated.
Regardless of Tardar Sauce's actual earnings, one thing is painfully clear: Grumpy Cat is making more money than most Millennials will make in their lifetimes. The outrage over this fact is a little laughable. Actually, more than a little laughable. It's hysterically ironic, not to mention hypocritical.
How can we be angry about this? We are the ones who made this cat famous. We took part in creating this very situation, and now, we want to pout about it.
Grumpy Cat first appeared on Reddit in 2012. Immediately, people were in love with her squished, angry expression.
We gave various captions to her image, shared her picture over social media, turned her into holiday cards ("dashing through the... no") and adorned her YouTube videos with thousands, then millions, of hits.
To say Grumpy Cat is an Internet sensation would be the biggest understatement of the year.
She's appeared on countless talk shows, been referenced in pop culture, spawned infinite amounts of memes, has her own stuffed animal and, most recently, released her own Christmas Lifetime movie.
Throughout all of her success, we've continued posting and sharing. We've liked her photos on Instagram; we've followed her on Twitter. We've bought her products, and we've enjoyed laughing at her cute face.
Fame doesn't happen without fans, and we've been her fans since her very first appearance on Reddit. We were the ones who helped Tardar Sauce get to the level of cat stardom she is today.
We put this cat on a pedestal, and now, we are angry that she's higher than us? The irony is blinding.
Our generation loves to indulge in daily viewings of cat pictures, baby animals and funny photos. This is evident through the amount of "10 cute animals to brighten your day" listicles that get shared regularly on social media.
There's nothing wrong with this, but we should own up to it instead of turning around and getting angry at the very behaviors we exude.
If we want to see a shift in the type of people (or animals) we celebrate as a society, then we have to start putting our money where our mouths are.
If we want to "stop making stupid people famous" or stop making animals more famous than people, we have to own up to those desires through our actions.
On the other hand, if we want to continue celebrating cute animals, sharing funny photos and contributing to viral activity, then we have to be prepared to accept the results. We can't pour our time, energy and money into a commodity and then get upset when that commodity becomes valuable.
Regardless of how we feel about the subject now, Grumpy Cat is still here, frowning — and she's rich. Or, more accurately, her caretaker is rich, for the mere chance of owning an adorably grumpy kitty.
And, she has all of us to thank for it.