Entertainment

Keyboard Cat Is Dead, But This Tribute Video from His Owner Does Him Justice

He starred in a pistachios commercial. He spoofed Banksy. And he wore a T-shirt like nobody else. The fun started in 2010, when he began carrying the legacy of a great meme by taking up the mantle of Keyboard Cat. For close to a decade, Bento was one of the most famous Internet felines, but his time came to an end earlier this month, according to owner Charlie Schmidt.

News of the cat's death broke this weekend after Schmidt uploaded an in memoriam compilation to YouTube. Man and beast alike are in mourning:

The original Keyboard Cat was Fatso, a sassy orange tabby whom Schmidt filmed in the mid-'80s. Inspired by the likes of Captain Beefheart, Erik Satie, and Mister Ed, Fatso could strike a pose and a chord like few cats could. But it wouldn't be until 2007 that Fatso's VHS footage was uploaded to YouTube, and almost two years later, that the legend was officially born. As a fan base grew, many began Googling the late pawlebrity during times of epic failure and yearning for more. 

Enter Bento, the spitting image of Fatso, adopted from a shelter, destined to take over the keyboard. He had big paws to fill, but fill them he did. "He had a big start, and it stayed through all the way," Schmidt told KREM 2 News. "He had quite a run" -- appearing in commercials, starring in parodies, and, perhaps best of all, serving as an inspiration to #StartAStoryAdopt. Bento's survived by his human, who's said there's a chance of a third Keyboard Cat if he "finds one with the right personality at a shelter."

A sad day to be sure, but you'll find solace in the tribute above.

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Sean Fitz-Gerald is a staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment. Find him on Twitter: @srkfitzgerald.