A cat named Lil Bub, who amassed millions of followers on the Internet, died in her sleep last Sunday, Dec. 1. She was 8 years old.
Her owner, Mike Bridavsky, took to Instagram yesterday, Dec. 3, to share photos in memory of his feline friend. He posted his first picture with Lil Bub next to their last one.
“BUB was cheerful and full of love laying in our bed with us Saturday night,” he explained, “but unexpectedly passed away peacefully in her sleep.”
Despite being transparent about Lil Bub’s battle with osteopetrosis, a rare bone infection, Bridavsky admitted that he and his family did not expect her to “pass so soon or so abruptly without warning.”
Like many pet owners, Lil Bub was a big part of Bridavsky’s life. He cited the cat as the reason behind his marriage and his children.
“To say that our family is devastated would be an understatement,” he stressed.
Bridavsky welcomed Lil Bub into his life when he found her in a tool shed in Indiana, United States at only a few weeks old in July 2011, her website states.
Lil Bub’s unique appearance stems from a number of her medical conditions. She had feline dwarfism which made her stay kitten-sized her whole life. She also had an underdeveloped jaw and no teeth which led to her tongue almost always sticking out.
Bridavsky later started a blog dedicated to the cat in November of the same year.
However, Lil Bub only started gaining widespread attention online after her photo appeared on the front page of the website Reddit in 2012.
Her large following on social media later led her to become a published author and actor, her website states. She appeared on a special episode of Animal Planet in 2014, and became the subject of a documentary that premiered in the Tribeca Film Festival in 2013.
Along with her success in the world of media, Lil Bub was also a philanthropist who made waves in animal welfare. Bridavsky said she was the subject of much groundbreaking research and helped raise over $700,000 (P35.7 million) for animals in need.
Lil Bub and Bridavsky started the first national fund for special needs pets in the U.S. — Lil BUB’s BIG Fund for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
Lil Bub’s death comes months after the death of Grumpy Cat, another Internet feline star, in May. NVG
LOOK: Cat in solitary confinement for repeatedly releasing animals in shelter
LOOK: Cat saves one-year-old baby from falling down stairs