ST. LOUIS – It probably won’t affect her famous mood, but Grumpy Cat now has an endorsement deal.
The frown-faced Internet sensation, real name Tardar Sauce, is now the “spokescat” for a Friskies brand of cat food, Nestle Purina PetCare announced Tuesday. The St. Louis-based company didn’t release terms of the deal.
Photos of Grumpy Cat, her brown and white face in a constant scowl, have become a constant presence on Facebook and other social media, often accompanied by crabby messages such as “I don’t like days that end in Y” or “I’m listening, I just don’t care.” She also is among the biggest stars of the peculiar trend of cat dominance on Web videos and postings.
Grumpy Cat’s own Facebook page has more than 1.3 million likes.
In addition to the relationship with Nestle Purina, which featured Grumpy Cat in an online video game series in March, the 1 1/2-year-old mixed-breed feline has a merchandise line and reportedly has a movie deal in the works.
Grumpy Cat is owned by Tabatha Bundesen, who lives in Phoenix.
Beanies creator to pay millions for tax evasion
CHICAGO – The creator of Beanie Babies stuffed animals has agreed to pay a $53 million penalty after being accused of federal tax evasion for failing to report income he earned in a secret offshore bank account.
As prosecutors in Chicago announced the charge against H. Ty Warner, his defense lawyer issued a statement saying the 69-year-old billionaire intended to plead guilty and pay the massive penalty.
Warner, who lives in suburban Chicago and is the sole owner of TY Inc., still faces the prospect of time behind bars. A conviction on a federal tax evasion charge carries a maximum five-year prison sentence.
Home construction rate highest since February
WASHINGTON – U.S. builders started work in August on the most single-family homes in six months and requested permits to construct even more in future months. The figures suggest housing remains a driver of economic growth despite rising mortgage rates.
Construction of single-family homes rose 7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 628,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That’s the fastest rate since February. And builders sought 627,000 permits to construct future single-family homes, 3 percent more than July and the best pace since May 2008.
Google has new venture, health company Calico
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Google said it has launched a new health company, called Calico, that will focus on aging and related diseases.
The Internet search giant said Wednesday the company will be headed by Arthur Levinson, the current chairman and former CEO of biotechnology company Genentech and the chairman of Apple Inc. He will stay in his current positions.
Google Inc. CEO Larry Page said on his Google Plus page that shareholders shouldn’t be surprised if Google invests in projects that seem “strange or speculative” compared with its Internet businesses. He said Google sees potential for technology “more generally to improve people’s lives.”