Lil BUB is putting the c-a-t in c-h-a-r-t-s.
The celebrity feline finds a comfortable spot on Top Dance/Electronic Albums and Heatseekers Albums (No. 2 on each tally, dated Dec. 26), as well as Alternative Albums (No. 16), among others, as Science & Magic: A Guide to the Universe arrives.
Four-year-old Lil BUB, the runt of her litter (born in a tool shed in Indiana), was adopted by Mike Bridavsky. Photos of her were posted to Tumblr in 2011 and she became a viral sensation after being featured on Reddit. She followed by starring in Lil Bub & Friendz, a documentary that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2013 and won the Tribeca Online Festival best feature film award. (It also stars Grumpy Cat.)
Lil BUB suffers from osteopetrosis, a rare condition (and the opposite of osteoporosis, as her bones keep growing, but she reportedly waddles just fine; her tongue also hangs out adorably due to her small lower jaw). Still, she keeps an active schedule, having also appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today.
What exactly is Science & Magic: A Guide to the Universe? “The songs on this album are [Lil BUB’s] vision,” collaborator Andrew W.K. explained in a press release. (According to her official Twitter account, Lil BUB is “the only true rock’n’roll kitty.”) “Listening to these songs is the sonic equivalent to holding Lil BUB in your own arms. It may seem impossible that a cat could compose an entire album of carefully crafted instrumental music, but BUB is not simply ‘a cat.’ She came from the deep unknown, on an intergalactic mission to help the people and animals of earth with her magic, talents, and otherworldly wisdom.”
Best of all, 25 percent of profits from the album will go toward assistance for special-needs pets. So, far she has helped raise more than $300,000 for animals in need.
Lil BUB joins a purr-ade of cats that have previously perched (purr-ched?) on Billboard charts. Notably, the Jingle Cats tallied two entries on the Billboard 200 in 1993-94: Meowy Christmas and Here Comes Santa Claws. The sets were helmed by producer Mike Spalla, who mixed more than 1,000 cat sounds. (He reportedly tempted his purr-formers with food and shiny toys.)
Beyond actual cats, animated (literally) fictional rapper MC Skat Kat & the Stray Mob hit No. 80 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1991 with “Skat Strut,” whose video features Paula Abdul. MC Skat Kat had first (fur-st?) gained fame by appearing in the video for Abdul’s Hot 100 No. 1 “Opposites Attract” a year earlier.
Expanding the cat-egory, the Brian Setzer-led Stray Cats posted three Hot 100 top 10s in 1982-83, including their highest-peaking hit, “Stray Cat Strut” (No. 3). Those hits followed Cat Stevens’ run of four top 10s in the ’70s, the same decade in which Harry Chapin hit No. 1 (in 1974) with “Cat’s in the Cradle.” In 1990, another cat leapt to No. 1: Janet Jackson’s “Black Cat.”
In fact, the Hot 100 was cat-friendly from the start. When the chart launched on Aug. 4, 1958, it included “Jealousy” at No. 87, the lone Hot 100 hit for country star … Kitty … Wells.