Tombili, a beloved Istanbul street cat known for his casual longing pose, passed on but won't be forgotten thanks to a bronze statue of the chubby kitty erected on the very steps where he loved to relax.
Istanbul's Ziverbey neighborhood just won't be the same after Tombili casually shuffled off this mortal coil last August. That's what more than 17,000 people who signed a petition demanding a statue in Tombili's honor thought, and in early October of 2016 their wishes were granted.
Tombili, a name derived from the Turkish word “tombul” (“chubby” in English), was a street cat who endeared himself to people in the neighborhood by relaxing on a short set of stairs. Coolly leaning on one arm, Tombili was about as laid-back as a cat could get. His stylishness and pleasant personality garnered him plenty of attention from the locals and, judging from his generous waistline, frequent tasty treats as well.
As he had no identifiable owner, Tombili's age was unknown and whatever illness he suffered from in his final few weeks wasn't addressed until it was too late. A makeshift memorial for Tombili was deemed inadequate by the public so, following an effective Change.org campaign, sculptor Seval Şahin volunteered to create a bronze sculpture of Tombili enacting his iconic casual pose. The statue was fastened to the very steps where he used to lounge and was officially unveiled on October 4th, World Animal Day.
Tombili's statue was well-received by the public and visitors would often leave kitty treats or cups of tea in his honor. On November 8th, however, tragedy struck: Kadıköy Municipality announced that Tombili's statue had been stolen! As can be seen in the photo above, only the cement mounting pad and the sculpture's engraved brass plaque remain. Let's hope whomever brazenly stole Tombili's statue casually returns it ASAP. (via UPI, Al Arabiya, and Hurriyet Daily News)