Animals

City Honors World Famous Stray Cat

There's probably no better place to be a stray cat than Istanbul, Turkey. We've written before about how kind the Turkish people are to stray dogs, but cats are even more beloved.

In Istanbul there are more than 125,000 stray cats (and just as many dogs). The number of wild cats and the way the city happily looks after them has led some people to rename Istanbul "Cat-stantinople."

There are even Facebook pages like Cats of Istanbul with tens of thousands of followers. But among all of the city's cats, Tombili stood out like a movie star.

Hurriyet Daily News

Tombili was a fat and lazy cat looked after by some shopkeepers in the city's Ziverbey neighborhood,

After pictures of his relaxed pose went viral online, he became an international sensation and a local celebrity. Sadly, Tombili died last Summer, but the people of Istanbul wanted to honor the iconic cat they loved so much.

Their monument to him is a bronze statue which was unveiled by local politicians last year. People have left food, drinks and prayer beads on the statue, while a nearby poster says "you will live on in our hearts, mascot of the street."

Tuxboard

There was even some drama a few months ago when the statue was stolen. The whole city was up in arms, with a local politican tweeting "they stole the Tombili statue. They are enemies of everything beautiful All they know is hate, tears and war."

Thankfully the statue was quickly tracked down and returned so Tombili's adoring fans can visit him again.

If you can't afford a trip to Turkey to meet Tombili, the next best thing is the new documentary Kedi, about the city's street cats. It's premiering in America soon and it looks like a "can't miss" for cat lovers.

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