New York Post | By Kate Storey/ Photos by Anne Wermiel
At a recent red carpet event in midtown Manhattan, a Sundance Film Festival star makes her grand entrance.
The throng of photographers and journalists gasp and drop to their knees, while spectators push and shove each other out of the way to get a peek.
Lil BUB has arrived at the party for Animal Planet’s “Puppy Bowl.”
The adorable, 4-pound, brown cat with the big green eyes and permanently drooping tongue is a certifiable star. BUB went viral when her owner, Mike Bridavsky, uploaded photos of his pet on his blog. The popularity of those pictures and videos led to a documentary, “Lil Bub & Friendz,” which won The Tribeca Online Festival as Best Feature Film last year.
Today, A-listers like Whoopi Goldberg and Robert De Niro count themselves as fans.
And now BUB is starring with musician Andrew W.K. and comedian Amy Sedaris in her own TV special, “Lil BUB’s Special Special,” airing Saturday at 9 p.m. on Animal Planet.
“BUB represents the underdog,” W.K. tells The Post. “People relate to that spirit in her as the odd one out or the one you wouldn’t expect to make it — the runt of the litter — and yet possessing a special charm.”
Lil BUB is a dwarf, with short legs, which gives her the look of a kitten. Her lower jaw is underdeveloped and her teeth never grew in, which results in her little pink tongue hanging out most of the time. BUB also has a bone condition called osteopetrosis. But, while BUB’s documentary ends at a challenging point in BUB’s health battles, Bridavsky says she’s flourishing these days. And, he says, traveling for filming and promotion has been great for the furry feline.
“We actually found out that for her bone condition, travel is good for her,” Bridavsky says. “The vibration of the plane and car helps break down the cells in her bones, which increases her mobility and just makes her a happier cat. So, she purrs maybe once a week at home and, when we’re on the road, she’s purring all the time. She’s in a great mood.”
And BUB’s appearances have, in turn, been great for her fans.
“I see people who will stand in line just to meet her for a few minutes and tell me how she’s changed their life,” Bridavsky says. “There have been people who say they were very depressed and thought about taking their own lives, and it was BUB that brought them out of it. Parents with chronically ill children who only have a few months to live have said, ‘BUB is the only thing that is getting us through this.’ ”
BUB’s Animal Planet special features positive, squeaky-clean fun. On the show, BUB hosts a slumber party and invites Sedaris and animal pals — a horse, a guinea pig and a rabbit — to join in the merriment. The group makes prank calls, orders pizza and watches a fictional series starring W.K. called “Party Animals.” Sounds like the cat’s pajamas.