Smudge, the vegetal-hating cat, may have stormed the internet in 2019 thanks to the “woman yelling at cat” meme, but we’re here to remind the world that the O.G. celebrity cat, Lil BUB, was homegrown right here in Indiana.
Ms. BUB, an 8-year-old cat with special needs from Bloomington, has more than twice as many Insta followers as Smudge (2.3 million vs. 1.2 million), plus her own charity, album, documentary, and merchandise line. Truly, there is room in our hearts for both adorable rescue cats. But, we just thought it was a good time to put the spotlight on our feline sister and favorite Hoosier maven-cat—and on animals, in general, who still need loving homes. And we couldn’t help but do a catty comparison.
“He later said he was in a bad way in 2012, when he adopted Bub—and she ended up saving him.”
Lil BUB: Bloomington, Indiana, U.S.
Smudge: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Lil BUB: Her unique appearance, caused by several genetic mutations. She has feline dwarfism, is toothless, has osteoporosis, and her malformed lower jaw causes her little pink tongue to protrude.
Smudge: His disdain for vegetables and his meme smackdowns of former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member Taylor Armstrong.
Lil BUB: Mike Bridavsky, owner of a music studio in Bloomington.
Smudge: Miranda Stillabower, who works at a pet store (and bought Smudge a new cat tree as a post-fame splurge).
Heartwarming adoption story
Lil BUB: The 6-ounce furball was the runt of a feral litter born in a tool shed in southern Indiana. Friends reached out to Bridavsky to see if he’d adopt her. He later said he was in a bad way in 2012, when he adopted Bub—and she ended up saving him.
Smudge: Stillabower told Vice she responded to a Facebook ad for a free kitten. But the “kitten” turned out to be a grown cat in a cage, in the back of a dude’s pickup truck. “I didn’t want to leave him in that situation,” she said. “So I took him out of the cage and he hid in my arms the whole way home.”
First won the public’s heart
Lil BUB: On Tumblr in 2011. “I kept it completely organic,” Bridavsky told Time Out magazine. “I posted a photo, people shared it, and it just kept going from there.”
Smudge: On Tumblr in 2018. Stillabower shared a photo of Smudge sitting on a chair at the dinner table, in front of a plate of vegetables, looking confused and annoyed. She captioned it, “He no like vegetals.”
Lil BUB: Bridavsky said, “Hey, Bub!” when he first met her, and the name stuck.
Smudge: He had a big grey patch on the top of his head, which has since disappeared.
Lil BUB: @iamlilbub
Lil BUB: Scientists Have Finally Discovered What Makes Celebrity Cat Lil Bub So ‘Magical’ (Washington Post, May 2019)
Smudge: We Are All Smudge the Cat, Confused in an Angry World (Vice, September 2019)
In the spirit of Lil BUB (she’s helped raise more than $300,000 for animals in need), here’s a reminder that The Humane Society of Indianapolis’ Holiday 2019 drive invites you to “give hope to homeless and abused animals.”
To make a donation or learn more, visit indyhumane.org.
Amanda Kingsbury is co-founder of and contributing editor at Indy Maven. She has a gorgeous black rescue cat named Lola.