The American celebrity cat, known for her unique physical appearance (her tongue often hung out of her mouth), died in her sleep at age 8, after “battling a persistent and aggressive bone infection”.
When Lil Bub was born as part of a feral litter in 2011, she was described as the “runt of the litter” because of her unique appearance. She was born with several genetic mutations which lead to difficulty being adopted.
A man called Mike Bridavsky eventually adopted her when his friends called to ask him to give her a home. He began posting photos of Lil Bub to Tumblr in November 2011; the snaps then moved to Reddit and soon enough, Lil Bub’s star began to shine. She soon became the face of countless iconic memes and gifs and gathered millions of followers across a range of social platforms.
The bio on her official website reads:
“She is the most amazing cat on the planet. Discovered as the runt of a healthy feral litter in a tool shed in rural Indiana, she was taken in as a rescue when it was clear that she would require special care. Since then, BUB has overcome great challenges, is a published author, a talk show host, a movie star, and has helped raise well over $300,000 for animals in need.”
The caption he wrote is truly touching. I’ve never actually owned a pet, so I don’t exactly know what it’s like to lose one (so I’m not going to pretend I do), but it’s safe to say that Mike’s words paint a picture – even for someone who’s never experienced such a loss. His words accompany a side-by-side picture of the very first photo the pair ever took together and the very last (pictured below).
“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 sprit, magic, and overwhelming energy are still with us, reminding us every day to be better.”
If you’re not a sobbing mess already, this last line will get you. It got me.
“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.”
RIP, Little Bub. We’ll all miss you so much.
Images via Twitter and @iamlilbub via Instagram
Having worked in children's media and publishing for almost a decade, Ben is thoroughly excited to now be able to swear in stories and features. He is such a big fan of Disney and Horror films that he started an LGBTQ+ podcast called 'Once Upon A Scream'. His mum listens. You can contact Ben at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @PulsfordBen / Instagram: @thebenmidlerFollow