RIP Bento, Keyboard Cat and synth champion of our hearts

One of the internet’s favourite animal heroes, Keyboard Cat, has sadly passed away.

Though not the original Keyboard Cat, Bento was the second feline star associated with one of the most famous meme videos of the last decade. He reached nine years of age, and died on March 9, 2018.

Owner Charlie Schmidt posted a rather epic tribute to his feline friend, Bento, on YouTube on Sunday, based on one of his videos from 2014:

“Keyboard Cat” originally found fame in 2007, thanks to some quirky old VHS footage shot in 1984 by American performance artist Charlie Schmidt. Not starring Bento just yet, the original clip starred Schmidt’s other cat, Fatso (who died in 1987), wearing a blue shirt and “playing” an electronic keyboard.

In June 2007, the video was posted to YouTube by Schmidt. In 2009, YouTuber Brad O’Farrell gained permission to use the clip in a mashup fail video, and this spurred thousands of spoofs over the last ten years — there’s a whole website of them.

Here’s the OG, with Fatso, which currently has over 50 million views:

After Fatso, Schmidt’s new cat Bento took up the reins and became the new Keyboard Cat in 2010:

This commercial for Wonderful Pistachios for the 2010 Major League Baseball World Series is a career highlight for Bento:

Folks on Twitter expressed their deepest sympathies, when they weren’t being confused over whether Bento was the OG Keyboard Cat or not.

Vale Bento, we’ll be cranking up the synths tonight.

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