Fans around the world are mourning the death of Lil BUB, a beloved celebrity cat who passed away due to a bone infection at age eight on Sunday, December 1st. Her owner, Mike Bridavsky, delivered the sad news to her fans the following day.
If you’ve spent any time looking at cat pictures on the internet, as most of us have, then you’ve probably come across the viral, adorable face of Lil BUB. Genetic anomalies and feline dwarfism caused her “perma-kitten” appearance, but also left her with a few health complications.
Shortly after her owner posted photos of her online in 2011, Reddit discovered Lil BUB, and her popularity quickly skyrocketed.
Since then, the unique feline showed us all just how amazing special needs pets can be. Through her fame, she helped raise over $700,000 for other animals in need. In her too-short eight years of life, she made a lasting positive impact. Those years were full of love from her family and millions of adoring fans, and she will be very missed.
Where Did Lil BUB Come From?
Lil BUB’s origins are about as humble as they come. She was originally found in a tool shed in Indiana and was very much the runt of her litter.
Her severe case of feline dwarfism left her with short legs and a short lower jaw. She never grew a full set of teeth, and her tongue hung out of her mouth. These conditions caused her to always look like a kitten, even when she grew to her full size later in life, but also left her with some special needs.
Despite BUB’s difficulties, she found a forever home with her human, Mike Bridavsky. Shortly after bringing the cat home, Bridavsky started a Tumblr account for her in 2011. It wasn’t long before Reddit users posted and shared pictures of Lil BUB, and she went viral across the internet.
Since then, millions of fans have followed BUB on social media, charmed by the cat’s kitten-like features, loud purrs, and messages of positivity.
How Did Lil BUB Die?
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According to Bridavsky, BUB suffered from “a persistent and aggressive bone infection.” Although her family was aware of the condition, they did not expect her to pass so suddenly.
Lil BUB died quietly in her sleep. Bridavsky believes she may have chosen to leave her failing body so that he and BUB’s family wouldn’t have to face the difficult decision to end her suffering.
Throughout her life, Lil BUB had health issues. In addition to her genetic abnormalities, she also suffered from osteoporosis. Her family gave her the best care they could and filled her life with love and support.
Lil BUB’s Legacy Of Love
Through her viral fame, Lil BUB gave a voice to special needs animals. It’s impossible to calculate just how big of an impact she had on pets in need or how many unique animals found homes because of her. But many credit BUB with encouraging adoption of pets who usually get overlooked at shelters.
In fact, her owner says that she saved thousands of lives in her eight years. Bridavsky states:
[BUB] 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.
That message has, indeed, resonated with people all over the world. BUB’s Instagram page has 2.4 million followers, and she also has 2.9 million followers on Facebook. Those fans continue to spread their favorite memes, gifs, and words of love in her memory.
We at CatTime, along with millions of feline fans and Lil BUB followers, will miss her very much. Rest in peace, Lil BUB.