Lil Bub The Internet Sensation Who 'Saved Thousands' Has Passed Away In Her Sleep Aged 8

It's never easy to come to terms with the loss of a pet. When a beloved furry friend passes away, it can feel like you've lost a part of yourself. For as much as we might love our human companions, there's a certain magic about the unconditional love that a pet provides.

Usually when a person grieves the loss of an animal, they're grieving the loss of their own pet. However, millions of strangers are coming together this week to mourn the departure of Lil Bub, an amazing cat who became an Instagram superstar.

Lil Bub lived an extraordinary eight years. Born in 2011, Lil Bub was the runt of her litter and was diagnosed with a list of health problems roughly a mile long. She had a condition that ensured she'd never grow beyond the size of a kitten. She had bone issues and vision issues. She also had an irregular jaw that would prevent her from ever being able to keep her tongue in her mouth.

"This hurts as much as when I lost my own cat!" one fan commented on social media after Lil Bub's passing was announced.

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For Mike Bridavsky, the health concerns that prompted many to reject the little kitten only made her more intriguing. Bridavsky decided to take the unique little creature home, without even realizing that she would change both his life and the lives of millions of strangers.

According to People, on a whim, Bridavsky decided to create an Instagram account for the goofy and lovable little cat he'd affectionally named Lil Bub. As the weeks passed, people began following the account in record numbers. Fans fell in love with Lil Bub's unique appearance and that tiny pink tongue that was always hanging outside of her mouth.

"BUB was cheerful and full of love laying in our bed with us Saturday night, but unexpectedly passed away peacefully in her sleep," Bridavsky wrote in a heartbreaking social media post

During Lil Bub's life, she didn't just become a viral celebrity. She became a poster girl for myriad animal welfare charities. According to Bridavsky's post, "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."

Although Lil Bub is gone, her memory will live on forever. We want to hear your favorite memories of this unique cat. Show this story to anyone who was ever touched by Lil Bub.