Lil BUB is coming to Traverse City on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 for a special appearance at the Internet Cat Video Festival at the State Theatre. Lil BUB will do a meet and greet before the show, to raise money for the Cherryland Humane Society and Lil BUB’s Big Fund for the ASPCA. This “perma-kitten” is an Internet cat sensation, inspiration to thousands, talk show host, advocate for homeless pets and so much more. MyNorth’s Eliza Foster chatted with Lil BUB’s “dude” Mike Bridavsky about their appearance in Traverse City, BUB’s favorite place to nap, some of the causes they support and more!
Can you tell us the story of Lil BUB? What makes her the most amazing cat on the planet?
Well BUB’s story is a very long one, in fact it would take thousands of years to even give you a shortened version. But I can give you a summary of the past 3 years. In early July of 2011, BUB was discovered with a healthy feral litter of cats, and was assumed to be the runt, although it’s more likely that she crash landed her spaceship to earth, and just huddled up next to the litter of cats to blend in. She was taken in by my friend’s sister’s roommate’s boyfriend’s mom. She was bottle fed, and eventually tried out a couple of different homes, but they weren’t right for her. Eventually my friend sent me a photo of her. I had to meet her, and decided to take her home with me immediately. Because she was so small and unique (and an alien) she required lots of special care. Since I brought her home, she has used a very deliberate balance of science and magic to become one of the most famous animals on the planet in an effort to help spread a message of positivity, to help people appreciate and celebrate each other’s differences, to save as many homeless pets as possible, and to find treatments to make her life on our planet possible. In the past three years she has published a book, starred in an award-winning documentary, had her own network television special, hosted her own talk show, started the first national fund for special needs pets, and helped raise over $200,000 for animals in need.
How did you come up with the name for her?
I didn’t. She has had this name since the beginning of time.
BUB raises money along with the ASPCA which is an organization that helps special needs cats out across the country. What are some other causes that you two are advocates for? Could you tell us what ASPCA does specifically?
Technically BUB doesn’t raise money for the ASPCA – she raises money for Lil BUB’s Big FUND, which is expertly handled by the ASPCA’s Grants Department. 100% of the money that gets collected for the fund (from direct donations, sales from the BUB STORE, other licensed BUB merchandise and BUB’s meet and greets) gets turned into grants that are awarded to deserving shelters all over the country through an open application process. BUB and I also encourage spaying and neutering, TNR programs and responsible animal care.
How does it feel to be the owner of a famous cat? Did you predict that she would become this popular?
It’s certainly a one-of-a-kind experience, and it’s hard to quantify how I feel about it. I love all of my pets dearly, BUB included. I still just think of her as one of my pets, and separate the fame from our real life. As for the work we do, even though it’s pretty overwhelming and time consuming, I love it. I have full control over every aspect – from the merchandise to the photos to the content itself. So it’s creatively fulfilling, and our work also brings people a lot of joy, and goes a long way in helping animals in need.
What are some of Lil BUB’s favorite activities? Where is her favorite place to nap?
BUB’s favorite activity is eating, followed closely by napping, which she likes to do in my lap, on the couch, or anywhere really.
I read on your website that BUB is the only recorded cat diagnosed with a rare bone condition called osteopetrosis. Has any scientific progress been made to learn more about this condition?
There has been some research done in the past several decades. But because it’s so rare in any species, it makes it very hard to research, and I imagine it’s hard to get funding to do the research, since it occurs so rarely.
Where did the catch phrase “Good job BUB” come from?
I understand that BUB is really laid back, but she is also a cat which begs the question, does she ever have sassy moments?
Oh yes – she is sassy when it’s time to eat, and is especially sassy around any other cat or dog. In fact, she would prefer to never have to see another animal. She lives with our dog Trudy and our cat Spooky, but she typically doesn’t like to be bothered by them. Although it does motivate her to run and jump, which has been very good for her health.
Will any of Lil BUB’s video’s be featured in the Internet Cat Video Festival event at the State Theatre?
I don’t believe so. She was included in the past two festivals, but this year’s reel is a whole new crop of cat vids.
What are you and BUB most excited about for your trip to Traverse City? Have you visited here before?
I have actually heard really great things about Traverse City from many friends and family, so we are really excited to visit for the first time.
Learn more about BUB: Watch BUB video’s, purchase BUB swag or read BUB’s bio!