And while Americans love their cats, Turkey may just take first prize in that arena.
There’s cat love, and then there’s cat devotion. A neighborhood in Istanbul, Ziverbey, has recently shown that it indulges in the latter. This is a photo of Tombili, a local cat who Ziverbey residents thought of as one of their own. Cats are highly respected in Turkey, and Tombili’s easygoing attitude gained him love and affection from everyone who met him.
Unfortunately, the beloved cat recently passed away.
Tombili lived a full life abundant with affection, but, much to the sadness of the locals, he died this year. But though he was gone, the people were determined that he not be forgotten. A petition asking that a memorial be set up to honor the late cat was launched, and the residents of Ziverbey got their wish. The result is endearing, hilarious, and beyond expectations.
The statue did not disappoint.
The residents of Ziverbey who loved Tombili were not let down by whoever commissioned the amazing, little cat memorial. “Tombili” is a Turkish word used for chubby animals, and — as you can see here — Tombili fit that description in life and death. His casual “lounge” pose is still endearing, even if it’s not the real deal anymore.
But, sometimes, people can't leave a good thing alone.
Joy over the new statue was short-lived, however. Recently, “Tombili” was stolen, and no one was happy about it. Besides the locals being deeply incensed, fans around the world caught wind of the news and were totally upset. In life, Tombili had become somewhat of an internet sensation, so when when the rotund statue went missing, it wasn’t just Turkish people who were on the lookout.
Thankfully, someone did the right thing.
And yet, all was not lost. The anguish of the people wasn’t ignored, with even the Russian embassy in Turkey making it known that they were highly concerned about the situation. Whoever took the fat-cat statue must’ve had a crisis of conscience, because “Tombili” was returned and promptly reinstalled at his usual haunt on the stone steps.