Istanbul’s Beloved Street Cat Iᴍᴍᴏʀᴛᴀʟɪᴢᴇᴅ With His Own Bronze Statue

Istanbul’s Beloved Street Cat Iᴍᴍᴏʀᴛᴀʟɪᴢᴇᴅ With His Own Bronze Statue

Cats can become a special part of our lives, even when they don’t belong to us. Many communities are filled with stray cats, who have no owners but manage to sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴇ thanks to the kindness of strangers who make it a habit of caring for them, providing food and shelter.

Tombili was a street cat from Istanbul. She was internationally known because of a photograph that shows her reclining on the pavement. She looked so relaxed and laid-back that it quickly went viral after the photo was shared on the popular site 9GAG. From that moment, people treated him like the town mascot. He was fed and taken care of even if he lived on the streets.

Of all the stray cats roaming the Turkish city, one managed to stand out with her carefree attitude… and the city ensured that she would be remembered for years to come. His calm and collected demeanor and his well fed stature captivated everyone who came across him in person or via his famous photo. There is no doubt that he was well loved, and knew his way to find affection from his human friends.

Sᴀᴅʟʏ, the beloved cat ᴅɪᴇᴅ in August of 2016. Locals ᴍᴏᴜʀɴᴇᴅ Tombili, and posted street flyers that read, “You will live on in our hearts, mascot of our street,” the Hurriyet Daily News reports. But some people wanted to erect a more permanent homage to the feline, and they launched a Change.org petition asking local officials to make it happen.

The petition garnered 17,000 signatures, and the Kadıköy Municipality gave Turkish artist Seval Şahin the green light to sculpt Tombili in his favorite position: sprawled on the pavement with one arm propping up his pudgy torso. The statue was unveiled on October 4—World Animal Day. The sculpture was sᴛᴏʟᴇɴ a month after its installation, but after much public outcry, the ᴛʜɪᴇᴠᴇs returned it to its original spot. People still visit to pay their respects to the internet star.

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