Why people paid $100 to meet Lil Bub, the famous internet cat

Why people paid $100 to meet Lil Bub, the famous internet cat

(Image: Giordano Ciampini)

Thursday’s Just For Cats Video Festival at the TIFF Bell Lightbox was more than just an opportunity to watch internet cat videos in a movie theatre. It was also an opportunity to share a room with one of the most famous internet cats: Lil Bub, an adorably odd-looking feline whose Instagram following is 1.2 million strong. After watching Bub walk the red carpet, a handful of guests got the opportunity to pose for a photograph with her and her owner, Mike Bridavsky. The meet-and-greet wasn’t cheap: each VIP ticket cost $100, with proceeds going to benefit the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and the TIFF Pocket Fund. We asked some of the first people in line why the price of admission was worth it.

(Image: Giordano Ciampini) (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

Laura Godfrey, 29, copy editor and writer from the Junction Triangle

“I felt a little ridiculous while buying the tickets, but the money goes to animal charities. Bub is just so cute, and she has raised so much money for charities herself, so she is a great cat to support.”

(Image: Giordano Ciampini) (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

Jennifer Bursey, 41, tattoo artist from Kingston

“Everybody likes Grumpy Cat, but Grumpy Cat is negative. I was going through a tough time in my life, so I made the switch to Lil Bub because she is the happy cat. Now whenever I’m feeling a little sad, I’ll just put on my Lil Bub shirt and hug my Lil Bub pillow. I even have a Lil Bub tattoo. I’ve actually tattooed Lil Bub on one of my clients, who also loves her. When I saw that she was coming to Toronto I freaked out and didn’t care how much it was—I had to meet her.”

(Image: Giordano Ciampini) (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

Emily Carl, 31, student and sexual health educator from the Annex

“Lil Bub is the embodiment of science and magic. She brings me a lot of happiness and I find her story very uplifting. Looking at her is hilarious and a treat. I practiced taking a selfie with my foster cat, and I kept making this really ugly cry face—since that’s what I think is going to happen when I meet Bub.”

(Image: Giordano Ciampini) (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

Sandra Commerford, 62, nurse from Niagara-on-the-Lake

“Lil Bub is magical. The fact that she and her ‘dude’ use their popularity to fundraise for foster cats and animals that are injured makes me like the whole philosophy around what they do. My daughter bought me these tickets for Mother’s Day, but she got ill and couldn’t come, so I’m here without her and she’s at home broken-hearted.”

(Image: Giordano Ciampini) (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

June Shoji, 50-something, bookstore worker from the east end

“I like what Lil Bub is promoting in terms of animal rescue, and I support her general message. I also like the adorableness, of course. I’m probably just going to be trying not to cry.”

(Image: Giordano Ciampini) (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

Britt Saunders, 30, graphic designer and illustrator from the downtown core

“The money goes to a great cause, so that was the thing that made me do it. It’s really exciting to meet a celebrity cat—I’ve never met one before.”

(Image: Giordano Ciampini) (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

Sierra Dryden, 47, bookkeeper from Belleville

“I love cats, so I took the day off work to come here. It was worth the money because a lot of it goes to charity, and both myself and my husband are huge supporters of the humane society where we live. Getting to meet Lil Bub just makes it a win-win. I made her a quilt.”

(Image: Giordano Ciampini) (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

Claire Manning, 35, illustrator from Little Portugal

“I’m a huge cat fan, but Lil Bub has that little something extra about her. My friend and I are sitting here trying to figure out how to show our cats to Lil Bub. It would have been ideal if we could have just brought our cats to meet her.”

(Image: Giordano Ciampini) (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

Van Lapointe, 53, video editor from midtown

“I think it’s worth $100 to support any charity that helps out animals. Meeting Lil Bub is just a bonus. I’m hoping to give her a couple pats on the head. It’s more than most celebrities allow.”

(Image: Giordano Ciampini) (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

Kyla Caron, 29, assistant production manager from Leslieville

“Even if it was more than $100, I would have paid it. I’m a huge fan. I don’t know what it is about this cat; I just love her—she’s magic. This is going to sound crazy, but I’m just going to try really hard not to cry. I’ve wanted her to come to Canada so badly.”

(Image: Giordano Ciampini) (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

Shawn Caron, 32, post-production coordinator from Leslieville

“My wife was willing to pay $400. When we found out tickets were on sale, she was almost in tears. We both love the crap out of Lil Bub. Every time I get angry I think, ‘What would Bub think of it?’ It actually helps. She’s such a special cat. I just want to give her some head pats and tell her that I love her.”

(Image: Giordano Ciampini) (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

Deeann Sagar, 50, theatre worker from Guildwood Village

“Bub is beautiful and magical and so full of love and beauty and wonder. I remember watching the videos of her being able to go up the stairs for the first time and cheering along. She makes you really happy to be alive. I just want to tell her that I love her and how special she is, and that what she and her owner have done to bring awareness to kitties with special needs is wonderful.”

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