Internet cat sensation Lil Bub has died at the age of 8

Internet celebrity cat Lil Bub known for her unique appearance is held by owner Mike Bridavsky at the inaugural CatConLa event in Los Angeles, California on June 7, 2015. (Photo credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

The cat with the little tongue that stole the hearts of the internet has died at age 8.

Lil Bub came into the world in June 2011 and died on Sunday peacefully in her sleep. The news was announced to BUB’s 2.3 million followers on her official Instagram page.

“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,” her “dude,” Mike Bridavsky, posted.

In announcing the cat’s death, Bridavsky published the first photo he took of Bub next their last photo together.

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

Bub, one of the original internet cat sensations, rose to fame in 2012 after she appeared on the front page of Reddit. Bridavsky started a Tumblr page of her photos when he adopted her in 2011, and the rest is history.

The runt of a feral litter, Bub had a severe case of feline dwarfism and remained kitten size her whole life. She has one extra toe on all four paws and also had a rare bone condition called osteopetrosis. According to her website, BUB is the only cat known to be born with the condition.

Lil Bub did a lot in her seemingly short life. She was an author and actor, and a TV host and spokescat on Animal Planet.

Bub was a philanthropist and helped raise more than $700,000 for animals with special needs just like her.

Fans have flooded her social media with condolences and memories.

But thanks to the internet, Lil Bub’s legacy will live on.

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