It’s with a heavy heart we bring you some harrowing news: viral internet superstar, Keyboard Cat, has passed away at the age of nine. The cat, named Bento, died on March 9th, leaving behind his best friend and owner Charlie Schmidt.
Bento became an internet phenomenon just under a decade ago when Schmidt posted a video of him playing a ditty on his keyboard. In 2009, the video went viral on YouTube, after being mashed up in a fail video, inspiring many duplicates along the way. Since then, the “keyboard cat” video has amassed over 50 million views in its time.
Like all good things on the web, Bento’s video soon became a meme, “playing people off” when they failed spectacularly; a nod to old vaudeville rag-time piano tradition.
Bento was actually not Schmidt’s first “Keyboard Cat”, as he was adopted to replace his first cat Fatso whom he had filmed playing piano as early as 1984.
Watch the tribute video put together by his owner:
Rest in peace friend.