(Newser) – An online memento to Bento is how many fans found out some sad news late last week about one of the internet’s most famous cats. People reports that a six-minute tribute to the renowned “Keyboard Cat” was posted Friday, announcing the musically inclined feline’s death on March 8 at the age of 8. Although the YouTube star, owned by Charles Schmidt, wasn’t the original Keyboard Cat—that honor goes to Schmidt’s previous orange tabby, Fatso, who died in 1987, per Mashable—Bento took over the ivories in 2010, posting videos on the Keyboard Cat YouTube channel and even landing a Wonderful Pistachios commercial.
So how did Fatso, who died long before the internet had infiltrated nearly every household, become an online sensation in the first place? Schmidt had in his archives a 1984 VHS tape of Fatso “playing” the keyboards, and that footage wound up on YouTube in 2007. The clip eventually went viral. Comments underneath the YouTube tribute to Bento offer condolences to Schmidt and lament the loss of an epic online star. “[I’m] more sad about this than Hawking,” one particularly broken-up fan writes. Others are holding tight to the memories: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it [happened].” (These YouTube stars awoke to a horrifying ordeal.)