Published April 19, 2013
NEW YORK – Lil Bub was the runt of her litter, until against all odds, she became an Internet sensation, and then, a movie star.
The documentary "Lil Bub and Friendz" debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival on Thursday, and Lil Bub and her owner Michael Bridavsky stopped by the FOX411 studio to tell us how the Hoosier kitty cat (they both hail from Bloomington, Indiana) became a star .
"She was born to a feral litter in rural Indiana. So my friend’s boyfriend's mom found her and rescued her. She was one of three in the litter, and a little different than the rest," Bridavsky said. "So they took a picture of Bub when she was eight weeks old, and I was like, I love this cat. And I came over picked her up and was like, 'Hey Bub,' and that’s it."
Bridavsky owns four other cats, so sharing pictures of his favorite felines was nothing new, but the reaction that people had to Lil Bub was different.
“I own a recording studio and people come through a lot, so I started posting photos of Bub. The response was kind of overwhelming. A friend of mine was like, you should start a blog for your cat," he said. "I did it for fun, kind of a fun joke, and within week started getting messages from strangers who were invested in my cat, emotionally invested in my cat.”
Lil Bub has some health issues -- she cannot walk or jump around and has a hard time keeping her tongue in her mouth. Her adorable face and good nature in spite her problems inspires people, Bridavsky said.
"She makes it ok to be different, you know. She’s a different looking cat but at the same time it’s endearing and people can relate to that," he said. "Different is good."
Lil Bub's online popularity led to an appearance on Good Morning America, which his where documentarians Juliette Eisner and Andy Capper first saw her.
“The first moment we met her, we knew she was super, super special," said Eisner. "Then we met Mike who was also great and we all got along and we realized that her story is really interesting to tell."
“It was meant to be like a 10 minute documentary at an Internet cat festival which Juliette dragged me to," Capper said. "Meeting this little guy, there was such a great chemistry. The more we looked into the back story what she represented, the joy and hope she gives to people, the back story of the health issue, [we realized] this is a Hollywood blockbuster.”