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

It seems only right that on a day like October 4th—World Animal Day—the people of Istanbul unveil a new bronze statue of their beloved local cat celebrity who has become a global star. His name was Tombili and he became an Internet sensation quickly after photos of him looking effortlessly laid-back were shared on the viral site 9GAG. Only missing a top hat, Tombili was the kind of dapper street cat that epitomizes being cool.

Although Tombili didn't seem to have a dedicated home, his portly build suggests that his neighborhood took good care of him. He practically became their town mascot, reminding passersby to take it easy and find time to relax. Unfortunately, the fluffy feline fell ill recently and passed away on August 1 of this year. Heartbroken, his local fans knew they had to do something to keep his memory alive.

Many left paper notes on Tombili's favorite bench, such as this loving one translated on Reddit: “You will live in our hearts. Mascot of our street, beloved Tombili lost his struggle for life after a month and closed his eyes to life on first of August.” But paper wouldn't be able to withstand time and weather. With the support of 17,000 signatures, a petition was passed to erect a bronze statue of Tombili, so his spirit could lounge on in his favorite spot of Istanbul.

Today, the statue was revealed for the public—including the humans who called him their friend and pet, as well as other curious felines of the area—to pay their respects to Tombili, who will forever be one cool cat.

This bronze statue memorializes a special cat…

Photo credit: Anadolu Kedisi

…who knew how to enjoy the little things in life. Other kitties are already paying their respects.

Photo credit: Anadolu Kedisi

So are the people who loved and cared for him.

Photo credit: Anadolu Kedisi

You will never be forgotten, Tombili! 

Tombili: Facebook
via [The Dodo]

All images via Tombili on Facebook unless otherwise stated.

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