Lil BUB has gone home
December 2, 2019 10:36 AM   Subscribe

The runt of a feral litter in rural Indiana, Lil BUB brought joy to people around the world with her unique and adorable appearance and demeanor, and squonks. After a fight with a "persistent and aggressive" bone infection, BUB went peacefully in her sleep on December 1st.

BUB is remembered by Pitchfork, Brooklyn Vegan, and her own Dude, Mike:
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.
posted by jzb (55 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
posted by joedan at 10:39 AM on December 2

Wasn't surprised to read this today, I'd been following BUB's health via their posts on Instagram, but I am really sad nonetheless. Lil BUB's face always brings me joy, and made me happy just knowing she is out there.

Several years ago I had a chance to meet Lil BUB at a fundraiser and took a friend who was undergoing chemo but was willing to go out to see BUB. She was so amused at a mass of people excited just to meet a cat, but in a very good-humored and loving way. We had a splendid time, and we got to pet BUB (very briefly) and have photos taken with her. She passed in 2017, just shy of 65, and I think about that evening often and think about her almost every time I see a picture of BUB.

Good job, BUB. Thanks for everything.
posted by jzb at 10:43 AM on December 2 [29 favorites]

posted by sperose at 10:51 AM on December 2

posted by chavenet at 10:58 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]

posted by JohnFredra at 11:02 AM on December 2

posted by lazaruslong at 11:04 AM on December 2

posted by Foosnark at 11:07 AM on December 2

Good job forever, Bub.

I wasn't necessarily surprised to see the email and fb post but I am unbelievably sad about it nonetheless. Bub occupied a tiny slice of the internet and my heart over the years that was pure joy. I realized after reading the news that I was wearing one of my Lil Bub hoodies.

I bought my mom a Lil Bub xmas magnet in December of '15. When my mom was dying in late May/early June of '16 I used to give myself pep talks at the fridge and I would always conclude them with, "we'll get through this. Good job, Lil Bub" while looking at the magnet.

posted by fluffy battle kitten at 11:14 AM on December 2 [17 favorites]

posted by wicked_sassy at 11:15 AM on December 2

posted by xingcat at 11:19 AM on December 2

posted by detachd at 11:26 AM on December 2

posted by octothorpe at 11:28 AM on December 2

It's been really wonderful watching the comments on the Facebook post -- so many pet advocacy folks commenting to talk about how Bub helped them raise money for their projects, so many people posting about how much joy she brought to their lives in difficult times. She was unique, and uniquely loved. GOOD JOB BUB.
posted by palomar at 11:34 AM on December 2 [6 favorites]

posted by runehog at 11:35 AM on December 2

Good kitty.

posted by SansPoint at 11:36 AM on December 2

Good Job, Bub.

posted by Joey Michaels at 11:43 AM on December 2

That’ll do, BUB. That’ll do.
posted by drivingmenuts at 11:48 AM on December 2 [6 favorites]

Keep my Nadja company, will ya, Bub?
posted by shorstenbach at 11:56 AM on December 2 [3 favorites]

I've been following a janus-faced cat on Facebook, and after struggling pretty hard her first few weeks, she's been able to climb cat trees, wrestle with her cat siblings, and master the litterbox at 5 months old. It's always sweet to see special-needs kitties thrive.
posted by tavella at 11:57 AM on December 2 [5 favorites]

posted by acb at 11:58 AM on December 2

Aw. She lived a full kitty life in only eight years. Mew, Lil Bub.

posted by holborne at 11:58 AM on December 2 [2 favorites]


Not a bad time to listen to Lil Bub's album, "Science & Magic: A Soundtrack to the Universe" (Spotify link).
posted by Monster_Zero at 12:07 PM on December 2 [1 favorite]

posted by Beardman at 12:09 PM on December 2 [3 favorites]


Bub n Grumpy are playing some kitty games together now
posted by supermedusa at 12:09 PM on December 2 [10 favorites]

posted by Reyturner at 12:09 PM on December 2

. I have had a Lil Bub pin on my leather jacket for years and it’s never coming off.
posted by Young Kullervo at 12:17 PM on December 2 [4 favorites]

posted by captain afab at 12:18 PM on December 2

posted by Faint of Butt at 12:20 PM on December 2

posted by GoldenEel at 12:46 PM on December 2

My wife has a Lil' BUB sweater that's one of her (and my) favourite articles of clothing.

posted by The Notorious SRD at 12:50 PM on December 2 [1 favorite]

This makes me so sad.It's the short end of the tail that rips our hearts out. When they are young, we're at the long end of the tail. We're there to watch every pounce and trick, and hear every purr. We share in heir biscuit making, and slow eye blinks and head bonks. As they get older we share in the long caturday naps, the cat nip binges and the boxes... oh, so many boxes... Then comes the short end of the tail.... the days are shorter, the naps are longer and the time for goodbyes grows closer. Eight years is the time Lil Bub had, and she used them to her best. Such a wonderful heart of kindness reached out and touched so many. I will count her amongst the best and will miss her deeply. Good job Bub, good job!
posted by CygnusXII at 12:58 PM on December 2 [10 favorites]

So long, BUB. I'll give some of the special needs cats at Friends for Life extra pets, in memoriam.
posted by heteronym at 1:01 PM on December 2 [2 favorites]

Remember when people said 2016 was the worst year? :(
posted by Skwirl at 1:24 PM on December 2 [4 favorites]

oh, this is the cat that talked to Steve Albini.
posted by ovvl at 1:26 PM on December 2 [1 favorite]

Aw, no.

Rest well, Lil Bub. You've earned it, and then some!

posted by droplet at 1:32 PM on December 2

Remember when Bub had a talk show?

Such a good cat.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 1:43 PM on December 2

posted by tommasz at 2:23 PM on December 2

i was really really sad to read this. i have the poster from the 2014 internet cat film festival that was in traverse city. it is framed in a giant pink frame. good job BUB.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 2:28 PM on December 2

Partner and I hung a giant, gaudily-framed Bub portrait in the center of our house the entire time we lived together to remind us of her important teachings. Got to see her live at a lovely presentation / Q&A event in Portland where her Dude translated her answers to the pressing life questions asked by the (mostly) children in the audience. She was extremely special.

Good job, Bub
posted by churl at 2:55 PM on December 2 [4 favorites]

Aw that same (former) partner just messaged me to commiserate while I was typing that. You did so good and touched our hearts Bub. 💕
posted by churl at 2:58 PM on December 2 [2 favorites]

posted by briank at 3:44 PM on December 2

I felt a sadness in the same place I did when David Bowie died. It's hard when space creatures return to the stars.
posted by batbat at 3:48 PM on December 2 [11 favorites]


I will miss li'l bub. I watched one of her Yule Log videos last year and it was just the thing for curing a dark mood.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:55 PM on December 2 [6 favorites]


Bub and Mike are from my hometown. I’ve never met either. But pretty much everyone I grew up with back there thinks of them as family. RIP little kitty.
posted by mwhybark at 4:24 PM on December 2 [2 favorites]

I lost one of my kitties last week (after plenty of notice) and I was reflecting on how just in the past year, four different animals I knew of only through the internet had passed: 1) Instagram hedgehog Mr. Pokee, 2) Tik Toker swushwoi's orange tabby cat Coffee, 3) Stop Podcasting Yourself co-host Dave Shumka's ancient dog Grampa, 4) Daniel Lavery's (nee Ortberg) also ancient dog Murphy, who was memorialized very sweetly in the newsletter piece, "The Precise Comfort of Dogweight". Now, I'll add Lil' Bub to the list. I still remember when Oolong, the rabbit who balanced pancakes on their head, passed away.
posted by mhum at 4:53 PM on December 2 [4 favorites]

posted by kinnakeet at 6:31 PM on December 2

I had the honor of meeting Lil Bub when she and her dude Mike were doing a press tour for her album Space and Magic. It was like meeting fucking royalty, and rightly so. My own cat’s instagram account was just starting to take off, so I felt like a puddle jumper pilot meeting Buzz Aldrin. The venue was a tiny record shop, and the weather was cold and wet and cruddy, and she was still healing from a fractured leg, but everyone was SO gracious and kind and patient. And when the cat shelter in my town was damaged in a fire in 2013, he donated $10,000 toward rebuilding efforts—a HUGE sum for an independent little sanctuary. That always impressed me, that he turned this phenomenon into a hella strong power for good. Together they changed the lives of SO MANY special-needs cats, cats who almost always get overlooked or discarded.

Ugh. Why can’t they live forever?

Sweet dreams, Lillian Bubbles. No one thought you’d make it past your first birthday, and you proved them all wrong with your chirpy derps and your drooling love of yogurt. As batbat said so eloquently above, may your trip back to the stars be peaceful and glowing with all the magic you deserve.


posted by flyingsquirrel at 7:39 PM on December 2 [7 favorites]

After passing through one of the little pearly Gates of Paradise, may Lil BUB and Oolong meet and happily chase each other through emerald meadows forever.
posted by cenoxo at 7:51 PM on December 2 [2 favorites]


Run, Lil Bub, run!
posted by SisterHavana at 11:14 PM on December 2

posted by kathrynm at 5:11 AM on December 3


This loss made me unexpectedly sad. I'll miss that little face.
posted by annieb at 5:59 AM on December 3 [1 favorite]

posted by radwolf76 at 9:45 AM on December 3

posted by lumpenprole at 1:42 PM on December 3

posted by wotsac at 4:33 PM on December 3

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