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Keyboard Cat, an internet sensation and local celebrity, dies

UPDATED: Sat., March 17, 2018

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

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