Special-needs cat who went viral and helped raise thousands for animal charities dies

Special-needs cat who went viral and helped raise thousands for animal charities dies

WE'RE GENUINELY devastated to hear this.

Lil Bub, a rescued cat with a severe form of dwarfism who went viral for her unique, happy look-- think a happy version of Grumpy Cat-- has died in her sleep aged 8.

The social media celebrity, who started life as part of a litter of feral kittens, was adopted by American man Mike Bridavsky after learning that she was struggling to find a home due to her special needs.

Not long after she was adopted, though, Bub's unique look resulted in her going viral and gaining the adoration of millions of people around the world...

...and together, Mike and Bub used her newfound fame to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for animal charities.

Lil Bub's Facebook page alone has 3 million followers, and it is there that her owner Mike broke the news to fans with an utterly heartbreaking post.

"This is my first photo with BUB next to our last photo together" (Lil Bub / Facebook)

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

"BUB was cheerful and full of love laying in our bed with us Saturday night, but unexpectedly passed away peacefully in her sleep. I have always been fully transparent about BUB's health, and it was no secret that she was battling a persistent and aggressive bone infection. 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.

"BUB's favorite nose" (Lil Bub / Facebook)

"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. She taught me everything that I know about unconditional love, she brought my wife Stacy and I together, she's the reason we have our beautiful children Rosco and Lula, and she has been a constant source of warmth and love in our lives for the past 8 years. To say that our family is devastated would be an understatement.

"lil bub, lil scarf" (Lil Bub / Facebook)

"But most importantly, 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.

(Lil Bub / Facebook)

"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.

"GOOD JOB EARTH" (Lil Bub / Facebook)

"Dearest BUB, I will never forget your generosity, your limitless supply of love, or your uncanny ability to bring so much magic and joy to the world. I am forever honored and humbled that you chose me as your caretaker. Please visit all of us in our dreams often. GOOD JOB BUB."

"Enjoying this day with BUB" (Lil Bub / Facebook)

If you've managed to get through all of that without crying, you might want to double check that you're actually human.

RIP Lil Bub. Good job.