Famous Cat Honored With His Very Own Statue

A cherished neighborhood cat, made famous for his particular at-ease style of lounging about, has been bestowed one of the highest honors a lazy but loved feline can receive - having his memory and likeness preserved forever in a statue erected at his favorite spot.

Tombili, as he was called, was a well-known figure along the streets of Istanbul where he lived. It's unclear if he had a dedicated home of his own, but the cat's chubby frame and sweet demeanor suggest there were plenty of folks around who made sure he wasn't lacking food or affection.

The cool cat's popularity soon made him famous beyond the borders of his native Turkey. Tombili eventually rose to worldwide stardom after the image above was shared online by the viral site 9GAG, and later across social media sites. His laid-back pose made him the embodiment of a casual kitty.

As other photos snapped by passersby show, that was kind of Tombili's thing.

Sadly, Tombili's newfound fame came near the end of his life.

After taking sick earlier this summer, he passed away in August from an unknown illness. It wasn't long, however, before a makeshift memorial was placed at his favorite resting spot, with a note (as translated on Reddit):

"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."

That simple paper flyer, however, wasn't enough of a remembrance for those who knew him best.

After Tombili's death, a petition was launched calling on the city to create a statue so his memory could live on in the place where he brought so many smiles. It garnered more than 17,000 signatures and, as the Hurriyet Daily News reports, the plan was approved - and soon enough, the cool cat was back to his old ways, in spirit at least.

Though the statue will officially be unveiled on Tuesday, Tombili's memorial is already living up to its honoree's warm, friendly reputation - attracting the attention of another furry local.

R.I.P., Tombili. You will be missed.