Social media users across the world are in mourning on Monday after Lil Bub, one of the most famous cats on the Internet, has died at 8 years old. The tiny tabby cat with a smooshed face and drooping tongue died on Sunday, her owner Miek Bridavsky wrote on Instagram.
Alongside a split-photo of Bub from her tiniest kitten days to her as an adult, Bridavsky left a touching tribute for the celebrity cat that gained 2.3 minion followers throughout the years.
"This is my first photo with BUB next our last photo together," he began. "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."
He continued, alluding to a bone infection that may have resulted in the cat's death. "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," Bridavsky said.
"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," he wrote. "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.
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"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," he concluded.
Bub was born the run of her litter with a form of feline dwarfism, making her a so-called perma-kitten, called achondroplasia. She also didn't have teeth, which is why her tongue hung out. But the world fell in love with those endearing characteristics, leading to a massive social media following.
Photo credit: Michael Stewart / Contributor / Getty