The One Time Lil BUB Came to Catster and I Almost Died


With her big green eyes, her peacefully clasped front paws, her pink omnipresent tongue, and her story of outer space travels and missions of love, Lil BUB is more than just a cat, she is a phenomenon.

So I knew I couldn’t miss her book signing in San Francisco and immediately bought tickets. But then I thought, “What if I just email BUB and her dude Mike Bridavsky to see if they can give me some extra time? It’s worth a try.” So I shot an embarrassingly-fangirly email out into the universe, expecting it to get sucked into a black hole.

Imagine my surprise when I got a reply from Lil BUB. And my excitement when BUB and Bridavsky said yes to my timid request. And then imagine my ecstasy when they said they’d love to come visit the Catster office.

We decided we’d throw BUB and her dude an intergalactic tea party, since, you know, she’s from space, and we wanted her to feel at ease. Thanks to the creative expertise of Nigel Sussman and Anna Zeman, we constructed a little slice of Bub Ub Bub (her planet), and Bumblebee Bakeshop delivered the most beautiful cake ever with BUB’s face on it. As we got closer to BUB’s appearance, my heart began racing: would BUB and Mike think me weird? Would I actually get to pet Lil BUB? Would they like the tea party? Would they be … I don’t know, mean?

All my anxiety faded the moment I saw her.

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In person, BUB is quite possibly the most amazing thing I have ever seen. There is something beautiful and serene and perfect about her that feels like sitting on a beach watching the sun sink into the ocean or akin to listening to the rain while cozied up in bed. And her fur is even softer than I ever could have dreamed.

It’s easy to see why Mike Bridavsky loves her so much. Nor is his love possessive; he let us pet and play with Lil BUB, and he commented on how happy and comfortable Lil BUB seemed at Catster. She scampered and galloped across the room — a huge accomplishment considering that not that long ago, Lil BUB could barely walk on her own. “Seriously,” Bridavsky said, “You don’t know how awesome this is. She’s doing so well.”

That’s because BUB’s unique appearance is partly derived from a rare disease she suffers from called osteopetrosis. It’s an inherited disorder that causes her bones to continue to harden, becoming very, very dense. As documented in Lil BUB & Friendz, there came a point in the little cat’s life where the condition caused her so much pain that she couldn’t walk, and Bridavsky was confronted with the terrible choice of holding onto hope in the face of odds or letting BUB go peacefully back to her home world.

That’s when a miracle happened. BUB and Bridavsky began a treatment regimen that came to include a device called an Assisi Loop. BUB recovered. (And it turns out that traveling actually further bolsters her health.)

We got to witness her newfound health in action, along with how magical this little space visitor is.

She really must be from another planet. Even Bridavsky, who has four other cats at home, is amazed at how unlike other felines Lil BUB is. She’s calm, outgoing, and more than happy to pose for a few photos — almost as if she knows.

I got to interview Bridavsky about BUB as she napped on the pedestal we made for her, and I asked him the winning questions from our book signing ticket giveaway.

Catster reader Catherine wanted to know if BUB has to maintain a rigorous napping schedule to maintain such extreme adorableness. It turns out that though BUB possesses epic levels of cuteness, she actually sleeps as much as any other cat. Some felines get all the luck!

Reader Dan asked whether or not BUB’s tongue gets dry and if she has trouble breathing. I can personally attest to the wetness of BUB’s tongue — it was actually dripping at one point. I never thought I’d call drool cute, but it was the cutest. And nope, BUB has no difficulty breathing (although she makes a lot of endearing sounds I don’t think other cats are capable of).

And lastly, Catster commenter Andrea was curious about BUB’s diet, since she has no teeth. BUB can actually eat dry food, her dude tells us. She also eats wet food, and since, like a lot of cats, BUB isn’t good at hydrating herself. Bridavsky mixes her wet food and water, creating what he calls a “BUB soup” just for her. She also likes to eat yogurt and apparently one time went crazy for some popcorn.

But there was something I really wanted to ask. I think a lot of you know what it’s like to live with depression. For me it’s something that comes and goes … and sometimes comes for a long while, like a fog settling over my heart, making me numb to all the things that normally make me happy. I know that BUB came to Bridavsky during a time when things were really difficult for him, kind of like a beacon of hope during a period when things looked like they could never get better. I am very grateful for my life, but there are times when I struggle to get out of bed and find myself in tears for no reason. I may or may not have been going through one of those phases recently (Hint: I was).

So I wanted to know: How does a person hold on during the hard times while she waits for her “BUB moment?”

Bridavsky told me that you can’t wait for it — you can’t go looking for it — and that BUB was not the catalyst for “snapping out of it,” rather a symptom of a “shift of events” that turned out cooler than Bridavsky could have expected. He said that things went from bad to worse, and he knew that at some point it was so bad it had to start getting good, and BUB was a part of that. I think the point is to hang on even when things seem like they cannot improve because there is unexpected opportunity on the other side that we have to keep living for.

For the past couple months I’ve been dealing with tremendous upheaval in my life that I won’t get into detail about here. But I will say that at the height of my despair, I had no idea that my dream of meeting Lil BUB was waiting right around the corner for me. And it was cooler than I could have ever imagined — I’m so glad I hung on.

If, like me, you need still more BUB, check out her talk show below and order her book here. (It’s seriously amazing — she wrote it herself!) A book, a documentary, and a show? BUB is one impressively productive cat.


You can follow Lil BUB on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram and like her on Facebook.

Thank you once again so much to Lil BUB, Mike Bridavsky, and Beth Parker for this incredible experience.

Read more about Lil BUB on Catster:

About Liz Acosta: Catster’s former Cuteness Correspondent, Liz still manages the site’s daily “Awws,” only now she also wrangles Catster’s social media. That’s why she wants you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and — her personal favorite — Instagram. See ya there!

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