It was only a few years ago that an American cat called Tardar Sauce became an internet celebrity.
This unfortunate feline suddenly became famous when people started to notice her exceptionally miserable expression.
She looked dissatisfied with life — angry and annoyed.
She seemed sad and world-weary.
Yes, you could even say she was grumpy.
And it’s for precisely this reason that she became known to many millions of people as Grumpy Cat.
Her picture was used in internet memes, and humorous captions were written to suggest the sort of negative thoughts that the poor kitty looked like she was having inside her furry little head.
Grumpy Cat became a symbol of our collective cynicism.
She was a cat who couldn’t take any more of our claptrap.
She had seen us coming. She was wise to our ways and she knew our tricks. Oh, she could see straight through us.
So it’s safe to say that she wasn’t just going to roll over when we tickled her stomach.
And we secretly respected her for that.
It was clear that she knew what she wanted — and she didn’t want us.
But there’s also a more serious point to be made about Grumpy Cat.
In societies where open expressions of optimism are encouraged, and maybe even enforced, sometimes we can really struggle to get our true feelings across.
Sometimes we just want to be sad, and being pushed and poked and pressured to hide our emotions may only make things worse for us.
There are times when a frown is just as good as a smile.
So send a Grumpy Cat birthday card, and show a friend that it’s okay to be miserable — even on your birthday!