Stray felines often find a unique place in our hearts, despite not belonging to us. Many corners of the world are inhabited by these wandering cats, free spirits surviving on the kindness of strangers. There are those whose compassion has transformed into a noble habit, as they consistently provide these strays with sustenance and shelter.
In discussions about the compassionate care of stray animals, Turkey holds a special significance. Istanbul, in particular, is renowned for its abundant population of stray cats. A remarkable documentary film called “Kedi” sheds light on the captivating lives of these street-wise felines.
Among the countless stray cats that roam the bustling streets of this Turkish metropolis, one stood out, leaving an indelible mark on the city’s collective memory. This extraordinary feline’s name was Tombili, and she possessed a demeanor unlike any other.
Tombili’s fame skyrocketed when viral photographs captured her iconic pose. This endearing cat frequented her favorite spot on a Kadikoy district sidewalk, garnering the adoration of passersby and photographers alike.
Tombili enjoyed a contented life, but her departure on August 1, 2016, left a void. While most stray cats might fade into obscurity, Tombili was different, having etched her name into the annals of Turkish stray cat lore. The residents of Istanbul were determined to ensure her legacy endured, and a Change.org petition emerged, advocating for the installation of a statue in her memory.
The petition underscored the desire to immortalize Tombili’s memory, ensuring she would not be forgotten. The campaign proved successful, rallying support from cat enthusiasts near and far. An accomplished artist by the name of Seval Şahin stepped forward to take on the noble task of crafting the statue.
This statue masterfully captured Tombili in her iconic pose and was placed in her cherished spot on the sidewalk. Its unveiling on October 4th, coinciding with Animal Protection Day, served as a touching tribute to the enduring spirit of a cat who had left an indomitable mark on Istanbul’s heart. Tombili’s legacy lives on, reminding all who pass by of the extraordinary bond between humans and their feline friends.