Celebrity cat Lil Bub has died

Celebrity cat Lil Bub has died
Photo credit: Instagram/Lil Bub

Lil Bub, one of the internet's most beloved cats, has died at the age of eight. 

The famous feline's human companion Mike Bridavsky shared the sad news with his pet's 2.4 million Instagram followers, alongside their first and last ever photo together. 

"On the morning of Sunday, December 1, 2019 we lost the purest, kindest and most magical living force on our planet," he wrote. 

"Bub was cheerful and full of love laying in our bed with us Saturday night, but unexpectedly passed away peacefully in her sleep."

The distinctive-looking cat rose to fame in 2011 after Bridavsky posted a photo of her on Tumblr. Several genetic deformities caused her unique appearance, which won over the hearts of many. 

Bridavsky explained that Bub had been battling a "persistent and aggressive bone infection" that ultimately led to her demise. 

"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 continued. 

"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." 

Bridavsky added that while his family was "devastated" by the loss, Bub had made a "huge difference" in the world of animal welfare. 

"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." 

The comments section of Lil Bub's last post quickly filled with condolences from around the world, including messages from other Instagram-verified cats such as Nala Cat and Venus the Two Face Cat.