The world lost a very special kitty on Sunday, Dec. 1. Lil Bub, an internet celebrity cat with a lopsided tongue and kitten face, passed away peacefully in her sleep at age 8. Her owner, Mike Bridavsky, announced her death on social media today. He is celebrating her life, her influence on animal welfare, and research for special needs pets.
Born in June 2011 as the runt of her litter with a form of feline dwarfism, Lil Bub’s genetic mutations gave her the unique features of a kitten. Her toothless jaw left her tongue hanging out. She’s been the subject of a genetic research campaign to better understand gene mutations, and helped raise over $700,000 for animals in need through partnerships with organizations like the ASPCA.
Patty Spitler introduced Lil Bub to television viewers back in 2013:
Bub had an amazing 2.3 million followers on her official Instagram page. She rose to fame in 2012 after she appeared on the front page of Reddit. Bridavsky started a Tumblr page of her photos when he adopted her in 2011, and people gravitated toward the cute little cat. Here is Bridavsky’s social media post announcing her death:
“On the morning of Sunday, December 1st 2019, we lost the purest, kindest and most magical living force on our planet. BUB was cheerful and full of love laying in our bed with us Saturday night, but unexpectedly passed away peacefully in her sleep. I have always been fully transparent about BUB's health, and it was no secret that she was battling a persistent and aggressive bone infection. Even knowing this, we weren't expecting her to pass so soon or so abruptly without warning. I truly believe that she willingly made the decision to leave her failing body so that our family would not have to make that difficult decision ourselves.
“It is impossible to put into words the profound effect that BUB has had on my life, on the lives of thousands of homeless pets, and on the lives of those of you that have cared for her as if she were your own family. She taught me everything that I know about unconditional love, she brought my wife Stacy and I together, she's the reason we have our beautiful children Rosco and Lula, and she has been a constant source of warmth and love in our lives for the past 8 years. To say that our family is devastated would be an understatement.
“But most importantly, BUB has made a huge difference in the world of animal welfare, and in the lives of millions of people worldwide. She has literally saved thousands of lives (both pets and humans), she started the first national fund for special needs pets, she was the subject of groundbreaking genetic and biological research, she's helped raise over $700,000 for animals in need, and has spread a message of determination, positivity, and perseverance to people all over the world. And even though my heart is absolutely crushed by her graceful departure from planet Earth, I know that her spirit, magic, and overwhelming energy are still with us, reminding us every day to be better.
“Dearest BUB, I will never forget your generosity, your limitless supply of love, or your uncanny ability to bring so much magic and joy to the world. I am forever honored and humbled that you chose me as your caretaker. Please visit all of us in our dreams often. GOOD JOB BUB.”