The celebrity cat Lil Bub has died at eight years old. According to owners Mike and Stacy Bridavsky, Lil Bub died early on Sunday, December 1.
Bridvasky announced the death of the beloved cat in a statement released on Instagram, saying she “unexpectedly passed away peacefully in her sleep.”
“On the morning of Sunday, December 1, 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.”
Although Lil Bub had been battling multiple health issues, including “persistent and aggressive bone infection,” Mike said her death was unexpected.
Who was Lil Bub?
Lil Bub was one of the biggest animal influencers on social media, with more than 2.3 million followers on Instagram, and more than three million likes on Facebook. She was born to a feral mom, and she was the runt of her litter.
The pint-sized cat suffered multiple genetic disorders, including a form of feline dwarfism that made her very small in size. Her tongue permanently hung out of her mouth because her jaws were abnormally small and toothless.
She had an extra toe on each of her paws and suffered from a bone condition called osteopetrosis.
Bridavsky adopted Lil Bub shortly after she was born in 2011 and began posting about her on Tumblr in November. Animal lovers quickly fell in love with the adorable cat with large green eyes.
She achieved more in her short life span than most cats and humans. She published a book titled Lil Bub’s Lil Book: The Extraordinary Life of the Most Amazing Cat on the Planet in 2013.
She also started a web series titled Lil Bub’s Big Show in 2013. The web series hosted stars such as Michelle Obama, Whoopi Goldberg, and Steve Albini.
She starred in a documentary titled Lil Bub & Friendz, which premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City in April 2013. Lil Bub & Friendz won Best Feature Film award at the 2013 Tribeca Online Festival.
She also recorded music and released an album, titled Science and Magic. She released it through Joyful Noise Recordings.
The celebrity cat used her fame to benefit other special needs pets, including homeless cats. She worked with ASPCA to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for animals in need.
A team of scientists launched a campaign through Experiment.com to sequence Lil Bub’s genome. They wanted to study and better understand her unique traits, including her extra digits.
The campaign reached its target in May 2015. The project found that she had a mutation that has also been found in humans and a mouse.
According to online sources, eight years of a cat’s life is roughly equivalent to 48-49 years of human life.