Yesterday we heard the news. Lil Bub, one of the first major internet cats passed away. She was eight years old.
To say Lil Bub was unique is an understatement. Born to a feral cat, Lil Bub was not only the runt of the litter, but suffered many ailments. Along with her many genetic mutations, she had feline dwarfism. This did not stop her from becoming one of the world’s most famous and beloved cats.
Within a span of five years she already had books, a web series, highly anticipated personal appearances, an album, merchandise, and a documentary under her furry belt.
They used to say a dog is a man’s best friend. Nowadays, cats rule with a velvet paw. Five years ago, the first holy trinity of internet cats came to be: Colonel Meow, Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub. Grumpy Cat was the most famous, but Lil Bub was the holiest of the holy.
Colonel Meow was the first to pass away in 2014. Grumpy cat passed away earlier in 2019. Now with Lil Bub gone, it’s the end of an era.
Lil Bub’s human, Mike Bridavsky decided to turn down Grumpy Cat’s management, headed by Ben Lashes. Instead, Bridavsky decided to share proceeds with animal charities, focusing on special need and homeless pets. Lil Bub also helped contribute to science. After a crowd funding campaign, researchers discovered Lil Bub had a mutation in gene RANK/TNFRSF11A. The findings were published on the website bioRxiv.
Science aside, Lil Bub always found a way to warm your hearts. Her human used to joke that Lil Bub came from outer space. Now it seems like she left earth. While today cats flood social media, no other cat has come close to making an impact like the way the original holy internet cat trilogy did. Particularly with Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub. Only recently the torch has been passed down to Smudge Lord.
I’ve always wanted to do a portrait of Lil Bub. After all, I did portraits of Colonel Meow and Grumpy Cat (Colonel Meow was always my personal favorite. Grumpy came in a close second.) Of course, I never got around to doing it. You would think I would have – especially after meeting Lil Bub back in 2013. It was only the day after her death I decided to do a tribute. Done in pen and ink.
Now that Lil Bub has gone back to outer space, planet Earth has become a little darker. While she was alive, she helped make the world a kinder place. Good job, Bub.