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Lil Bub is a female “perma-kitten” house cat born with several genetic mutations causing dwarfism, polydactylism and disformed lower jaw. Bub rose to fame online after videos of her began being uploaded to YouTube in November of 2011.
Lil Bub was born on June 21st, 2011 in the state of Indiana. On November 8th, 2011, a video titled “good job bub.3gp” was uploaded by YouTuber LilBubBub, featuring a video of the cat stalking the camera before pouncing on it. The same day, the Lil Bub Tumblr blog was launched, which highlighted the same YouTube video in the first post.
On May 18th, 2012, the design blog Jakprints published a post titled “Jakprints Loves Lil’ Bub”, which highlighted a sticker featuring a photograph of Lil Bub licking an ice cream cone.
On May 27th, the official Lil Bub Facebook page was created, receiving over 40,000 likes within four months. On May 30th, an online store was launched, featuring Lil Bub t-shirts, tank tops, tote bags, buttons and post cards. On June 1st, the @IamLilBub Twitter account was created, which accumulated over 1,800 followers within three months. On June 21st, YouTube PhilDiehlTV uploaded a tribute video titled “Happy Birthday, Lil Bub!”
On June 30th, the viral content site BuzzFeed published a post titled “Meet Lil Bub, Nature’s ‘Happy Accident’ Who is About to Win Your Heart”, which featured several images and video (shown below) of the cat. Within one month, the post received over 193,000 views, 800 responses and 6,000 Facebook shares.
On July 1st, the Internet humor blog TheFW published a post titled “Cute Kitty Lil Bub is Nature’s Most Precious ‘Happy Accident’.” On July 4th, the women’s internet blog Jezebel published a post titled “And Then Dwarf Cat Lil Bub Happened And Everything Changed”, referring to the cat as “one of the weirdest cutest, Mogwai-looking motherfucking cats you will ever see.” On July 24th, Vice published an article titled “Vice Loves Bub More Than You Do”, revealing that several Vice employees had Lil Bub postcards on their desks. On July 31st, The Huffington Post published an article titled “Perma Kitten Lil Bub Goes to Park”, which highlighted a video of the cat laying in grass (shown below). As of August 17th, 2012, the Lil Bub Pinterest page has 170 pins and the “LilBubBub” YouTube channel has over 1.2 million video views.
Vice Documentary: Lil Bub & Friendz
On March 7th, 2013, Vice Magazine announced that a documentary feature film starring Lil Bub will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April. The film, which is centered around the life and times of Lil Bub and his owner Mike Bridavsky, will also feature a number of other internet famous cats including Grumpy Cat, Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat, and look at the broader phenomenon of online cat videos through interviews with industry experts and key figures including the internet celebrity manager Ben Lashes.
On March 18th, Vice unveiled the first official trailer for the documentary, which was promptly picked up by several daily news outlets like Complex Magazine, Huffington Post, Hollywood and Metro among others.
Search query volume for the keywords “lil bub” increased significantly in June of 2012.