Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Furwell, Lil Bub: Internet-famous cat with millions of fans dies aged 8

The feline, known for her distinctive appearance, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday

Internet celebrity cat Lil Bub died on Sunday at the age of 8. AFP
Internet celebrity cat Lil Bub died on Sunday at the age of 8. AFP

One of the internet's most famous kitties, Lil Bub, has died at the age of 8.

The cat, who was renowned for her large, round eyes and permanently protruding tongue, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, December 1, her owner announced last night.

"We lost the purest, kindest and most magical living force on our planet," wrote Mike Bridavsky on his pet's Instagram page. "Bub was cheerful and full of love laying in our bed with us Saturday night, but unexpectedly passed away peacefully in her sleep."

The cat, who has 2.4 million followers on the social media platform, had been suffering from a bone infection but her death had not been anticipated, her owner added.

"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 wrote, alongside a collage of his first and last photo with Lil Bub.

"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 eight years. To say that our family is devastated would be an understatement."

HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 01: Owner Mike Bridavsky and Lil BUB attends= the EuropaCorp's "Nine Lives" premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre on August 1, 2016 in Hollywood, California. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images/AFP
Mike Bridavsky and Lil Bub in 2016. AFP

In a moving tribute, Bridavsky revealed that Bub had raised more than $700,000 (Dh2.57 million) for animals in need through charitable fundraisers.

"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," he wrote. "I am forever honoured and humbled that you chose me as your caretaker."

Lil Bub, who was rescued as a kitten, found fame online with her distinctive appearance. She was born with dwarfism, an underdeveloped jaw, no teeth, and polydactyl, which resulted in an extra toe on each of her paws. The cat, who has a further 3 million Facebook fans, also suffered with osteopetrosis.

She was adopted by Bridavsky in 2011 after she was found in a tool shed in the US, along with her siblings and feral mother.

Lil Bub rose to fame after an image of her, taken from a blog started by Bridavsky, went viral on Reddit. She subsequently appeared on numerous TV shows and fronted a documentary for Vice.

She also 'wrote' a book, Lil Bub's Lil Book: The Extraordinary Life of the Most Amazing Cat on the Planet, and her face graced merchandise including mugs, T-shirts and calendars.

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Updated: December 3, 2019 10:51 AM

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