Lil Bub, internet cat who charmed millions, has died

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Lil Bub was born with a rare bone condition, and her small appearance and the way her tongue stuck out made her an internet sensation.

Internet cat celebrity Lil Bub has died, according to her owner Mike Bridavsky. Lil Bub’s “dude” posted tribute to the lovable cat on her official Instagram account. 

Lil Bub passed away suddenly on Sunday in her sleep. She was a polydactyl cat (extra toes) with several genetic defects, including feline dwarfism and osteopetrosis. Her large green eyes, miniature size and they way her tongue always stuck out quickly made her an internet sensation after she was adopted by Bridavsky in 2011.

Bridavsky said that he found Lil Bub after he was sent a picture of her by a friend. She was 8 weeks old. 30 minutes after he met her, he took her home. She only weighed 4 pounds fully grown, had no teeth, and her underdeveloped lower jaw was the reason her tongue always stuck out.

Bridavsky started a blog about her for fun, and it took off. When Instagram became available for his phone, her fame really took off.

Before her death, Lil Bub was suffering from “a persistent and aggressive bone infection,” according to Bridavsky. 

“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,” Bridavsky said in an Instagram post that featured the first and last photo he took with Lil Bub. “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.”

View this post on Instagram

This is my first photo with BUB next our last photo together. 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. 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 o

A post shared by Lil BUB (@iamlilbub) on

Lil Bub’s popularity has helped other animals around the world. The cat has been a talk show host, musician and animal-rights advocate. 

“She has literally saved thousands of lives (both pets and humans),” Bridavsky wrote. “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,” Bridavsky writes. “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.”

             
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