Lil Bub, the internet cat famous for challenging and redefining the world’s ideals of feline beauty, has died. She was eight.
Born with a dearth of teeth, an abundance of toes, and a permanently cheerful, yet baffled expression, Lil Bub became the wide-eyed face of millennial hope despite an age of political and environmental strife. Effectively the diametric opposition to the bored cynicism of her contemporary, Grumpy Cat, images and videos of Lil Bub contentedly eating yogurt, enjoying a fire, or being presented with a birthday cake reintroduced an entire generation to a sense of domestic normalcy. In turbulent times, Lil Bub offered unbridled positivity via internet meme, millennials’ preferred form of emotional outlet.
In addition to being born feral, Bub also had a host of genetic anomalies including osteopetrosis, feline dwarfism, and a condition that left her unable to grow teeth. But these challenges only strengthened her resolve to become a bestselling author, social media influencer, and recording artist. She once interviewed Whoopi Goldberg and collaborated with artists such as Andrew W.K. and Run the Jewels. In 2013, an award-winning documentary about the life of Lil Bub featuring guest appearances by celebrity colleagues Grumpy Cat and Keyboard Cat premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Bub is survived by human companion, fellow musician Mike Bridavsky.