Even if they are not our own, cats can take on a unique role in our lives. There are many stray cats in many places. These cats are without owners, but they live because of the generosity of strangers who take it upon themselves to look after them and give them food and shelter.
Istanbul in particular stands out not only for the sheer quantity of stray cats but also for how integrated they are into daily life, to the extent that a documentary film called Kedi was made on them.
One stray cat stood out among the others wandering the Turkish city with her easygoing demeanour, and the city made sure she would be remembered for years to come.
The residents’ favourite street cat was always Tombili, a traditional Turkish term for plump cats. Tombili was a cat that gave off the impression that she had it all figured out, what with her plump physique and her habit of casually reclining on the sidewalk.
When pictures of her famous posture appeared online, she became even more well-known. This kitty just has such a sympathetic quality.
Tombili continued to be a popular figure. People would frequently pay her a visit at her usual location on the Kadıköy sidewalk, where she would be carefreely relaxing.
Though Tombili had a happy life, she passed away tragically on August 1, 2016.
Most stray cats would go unnoticed, but since Tombili was such an integral part of the neighbourhood, the people of Istanbul made the decision to pay tribute to her legacy as a major figure in the Turkish stray cat community:
They made a statue of her!
#Tombili heykelini yerinde görmek isteyenler için adres ve harita bilgisi aşağıdadır.Adres: Fahrettin Kerim Gökay Cd….
A Change.org petition to erect a statue in honour of the well-known stray was started by distraught townspeople.
“We hope that Tombili is remembered and not forgotten in a similar way,” the petition says, referring to the neighborhood’s mascot of 11 years whose reputation has extended beyond Kadıköy.
Following the campaign’s success, artist Seval Şahin offered to make the statue. It was placed in Tombili’s regular location and features her in her well-known posture.
On October 4, World Animal Protection Day, the statue was unveiled.
It serves as a place where people can visit and remember their former companions, both people and animals.
One image depicts a cat visiting the deceased figure to offer condolences:
Rest in peace, Tombili! You’re gone but never forgotten.