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Internet Mourns Death Of Feline Star Lil Bub

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The Internet is mourning one of its most famous feline stars.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: Please welcome the tiny cat from the tiny town of Bloomington, Ind., Lil Bub.

MARTIN: Lil Bub's droopy tongue, diminutive stature and giant green eyes made her an Internet sensation with more than 2 million Instagram followers.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Sadly, Lil Bub died on Sunday. Owner Mike Bridavsky rescued Lil Bub from a litter in 2011 thinking that she would need some extra care because she had a number of genetic anomalies.

MIKE BRIDAVSKY: And I really just sort of assumed she probably wasn't going to live very long, maybe about six months or so. And I thought, well, I can at least take care of her for that amount of time.

GREENE: But Lil Bub did live and thrived. Bridavsky started a Tumblr blog to share her cuteness with friends. Then they decided to make Lil Bub T-shirts to raise money for charity.

BRIDAVSKY: I posted a link on the Tumblr about preordering these shirts, and the next thing we know, we've got, like, 200 preorders for these shirts. And then from there sort of - it got a little crazy. BuzzFeed posted an article that went viral.

MARTIN: That article led to a "Good Morning America" appearance and her fame soared. Over the years, Lil Bub's helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for animal welfare organizations.

GREENE: But through all the glamour, Bridavsky says what was most important was Lil Bub's message.

BRIDAVSKY: I believe that Bub represented sort of, like, all of our differences. It's our differences that make us who we are, and it's nothing to be ashamed of.

(SOUNDBITE OF EPIGRAM'S "THE STRANGERS WE ARE BECOMING") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.