Tombili was a neighborhood cat who was a beloved presence in Istanbul, Turkey. He liked to lounge on the sidewalk of the city’s Ziverbey neighborhood, casually looking out at the goings-on of the town. Tombili became Internet famous after a photo of him lounging went viral.
While it is not clear if he belonged to any one person or if he had a home, Tombili appeared to be well-fed and not lacking in affection or attention.
Sadly, Tombili passed away this past August after an undisclosed month-long illness, Al Arabiya English reports. His death was announced via a notice that was attached to a tree on Güleç Street in the neighborhood where the chubby kitty lived.
The notice translates to “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,” according to a Reddit post.
The loss of Tombili affected the neighborhood’s residents so much that a petition soon started to have the cat’s likeness commemorated in statue. Sculptor Seval Sahin offered to create the statue, which of course depicts Tombili in his iconic sidewalk pose.
Tombili’s statue was inaugurated in the Ziverbey neighborhood of Istanbul on October 4, which also happened to be World Animal Day, Hurriyet Daily News reports.
The statue is an honor for Tombili, who will be missed.