Famous Fat Cat Who Inspired Meme Honored With Statue

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
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Made famous by a meme, Istanbul’s iconic fat cat, Tombili, was forever memorialized in a statue, on the very sidewalk where she liked to chill out.

You’ve probably seen her on social media somehow…a meme or giphy of the most chill, laid-back fat cat you’ve maybe ever seen.

A feline celebrity icon of not only her Ziverby, Istanbul neighborhood, but of the world, Tombili (the Turkish word often used for chubby more plump pets) passed in August, but will forever live on in a sculpture designed to capture her most famous pose.

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Tombili and her feline sister (who passed shortly after birth) had always been semi-celebrity, according to the owners of the home in which they resided. Saying that when they were kittens, people would love to come and visit them in the small cottage made just for them, Tombili was used to spotlight.

But it wasn’t until a tourist snapped a picture of Tombili in her tell-tale pose, lounging around on a city street she loved, that she became a viral internet star. People loved her relaxed, laid-back attitude, and couldn’t resist the chub-a-lub, fluffy-hair-don’t-care attitude that she gave.

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She passed away this summer, after a long-suffering, but unknown illness took her, and residents memorialized her by placing posters all over the neighborhood saying how much they’d miss her. More, people all over the world shared similar remembrances.

Backed by a hugely successful petition on change.org that begged for a more permanent memorial to the beloved cat, sculptor Seval Sahin created the masterpiece in Tombili’s image, right in the place that she was best known to lounge and be loved. Neighbors and tourists (of both human and cat variety) now visit and remember the sweet cat who brought such a good attitude and so much love to their world.

Forever loved, forever immortalized. Rest in peace, sweet fat cat!

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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