Istanbul’s Famous Street Cat Is Immortalized With His Own Bronze Statue

A cherished neighborhood cat, made famous for his particular at-ease style of lounging about, has been bestowed one of the highest honors a lazy but loved feline can receive – having his memory and likeness preserved forever in a statue erected at his favorite spot. 

Tombili, as he was called, was a well-known figure along the streets of Istanbul where he lived. It's unclear if he had a dedicated home of his own, but the cat's chubby frame and sweet demeanor suggest there were plenty of folks around who made sure he wasn't lacking food or affection. 

The cool cat's popularity soon made him famous beyond the borders of his native Turkey. Tombili eventually rose to worldwide stardom after the image above was shared online, and later across social media sites. His laid-back pose made him the embodiment of a casual kitty. 

As other photos snapped by passersby show, that was kind of Tombili's thing.

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    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.

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