Last Sunday the cat world lost once of its brightest lights. On December 1, Lil BUB passed away peacefully in her sleep. BUB had been fighting a bone infection for quite some time, but her sudden passing was completely unexpected.
BUB had millions of followers around the world, but that doesn’t tell the full story of her legacy. “BUB has made a huge difference in the world of animal welfare, and in the lives of millions of people worldwide,” wrote Mike Bridavsky, BUB’s “Dude,” on BUB’s Facebook page on Monday. “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.”
Like so many others, I first fell in love with this amazing little cat online. She conveyed a level of charisma in photos and videos unlike anything I had ever seen. In the spring of 2014, I connected with Mike online and had an opportunity for an exclusive, in-dept interview.
I first met her in person at CatCon LA in 2016, and she was every bit as special in real life. The energy coming off this tiny little cat (and she’s even tinier in person than I thought she’d be) was absolutely magical, and watching the bond between her and Mike in real life, and not just through photos and videos, touched my heart deeply. Mike snapped the series of photos above. I also got to pet Bub, and I loved how her eyes closed when I petted the top of her head. I felt like I’d been given a very special gift.
I since saw BUB at various cat conventions, and I was always struck by how laid back she was about being out among her adoring public. As long as she was with her Dude, life was good for BUB.
Within hours of Mike sharing the news of BUB’s passing, her story was picked up by major news outlets and trended on Twitter – yet another testament to the impact this small cat had on so many lives.
My heart goes out to Mike and his family as they mourn their little girl. I hope Mike can allow himself to privately mourn this loss. While he will hopefully find some comfort in knowing that so many others are also grieving her passing, ultimately, she was his baby girl first, and an internet celebrity second.
Rest easy, sweet BUB. Your spirit and magical energy will live on in the hearts of those who loved you.