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Internet cat sensation Lil Bub has died

The cat died peacefully in her sleep Sunday after battling a rare bone infection.

Lil Bub, the dimunitive cat that stole the hearts of more than 2.3 million Instagrammers, has died at age 8.

The feline died peacefully in her sleep Sunday after battling a rare but persistent and aggressive bone infection called osteopetrosis, according to owner Mike Bridavsky.

Bridavsky, who lives in Bloomington, Ind., confirmed the news via her official social media page Sunday with their very first photo together and their last. Followers haven’t stopped flooding the comments with their condolences, support and memories of the beloved cat.

View this post on Instagram

This is my first photo with BUB next our last photo together. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 o

A post shared by Lil BUB (@iamlilbub) on

In July of 2011, Bridavsky discovered her as the runt of a healthy feral litter in a tool shed in rural Indiana at only a few weeks old and took her in as a rescue. He started a Tumblr page of Bub, who had feline dwarfism and an extra toe on each paw, in addition to her trademark perma-tongue.

From there, Bub became one of the most famous cats on the planet, becoming a published author, a talk show host and the star of an award-winning documentary, as well as promoting several products. Bub was also the spokescat for Lil Bub’s Big Fund for the ASPCA, the first national fund for special needs pets, and has helped raise more than $700,000 for animals with special needs.

And don’t forget the merchandising, because Lil Bub had plenty of merchandise.

It hasn’t been a great year for Instagram-famous cats: Lil Bub joins her furry meme-sensation friend Tarder Sauce, a.k.a. Grumpy Cat, who died in May.

View this post on Instagram

The yin to BUB's yang : swipe----->

A post shared by Lil BUB (@iamlilbub) on

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