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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Keyboard Cat, an internet sensation and local celebrity, dies

Charlie Schmidt and Keyboard Cat. Bento, the cat, passed away on March 8. (Holly Stein / COURTESY PHOTO)
From staff reports

A local megastar has passed away.

Spokane’s Keyboard Cat, an internet sensation whose visage graced everything from T-shirts to pistachio commercials, died on March 8. Charlie Schmidt, his owner, posted a video tribute to the celebrated feline Friday.

Keyboard Cat fever struck in 2009, when Schmidt’s YouTube video of his kitty pawing away at a portable piano went viral. Yet, the video had been made over a dozen years before, and the original Keyboard Cat, named Fatso, had already passed into kitty heaven.

Schmidt scoured animal shelters for a suitable replacement. He found a new cat, named him Bento, and together they assumed the mantle of internet legend, attending conferences and churning out merchandise, in addition to making regular appearances around Spokane.

Bento was 9 years old.