If you’ve ever lost a beloved kitty, you may have built a little monument to remember your furriest friend by. Perhaps it was a beautiful stepping stone or a small bronze statue in your garden. As cat lovers, we are pleased to learn that monuments to cats can be found all over the world. Here are a few you can visit yourself:
Towser, Glenturret Distillery, Scotland
Towser, a long-haired tortoiseshell, was the resident feline pest control expert at Glenturret Distillery in Scotland from 1963 till 1987. She was such a good mouser than she was an officiall recognised by the Guiness Book of World Records for killing an estimated 28,899 mice! She was commemorated by a bronze statue at the visitor’s centre at Glenturret.
The inscription on her statue reads: “Towser, the famous cat who lived in the still house, Glenturret Distillery, for almost 24 years. She caught 28,899 mice in her lifetime. World mousing champion, Guinness Book of Records.”
Mrs. Chippy, New Zealand
Mrs. Chippy was a tabby cat who accompanied Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition in 1914. The cat was brought onboard the ship by it’s carpenter, Harry McNish (nicknamed “Chippy”) One month after the ship set sail for Antarctica it was discovered that, despite her name, Mrs. Chippy was actually a boy! But, by that time his name had stuck. He was described as “full of character” by members of the expedition and impressed the crew by his ability to walk along the ship’s inch-wide rails in even the roughest seas. Sadly, Mrs. Chippy and several of the dogs that accompanied the crew didn’t survive the trip. When the ship, Endurance, became trapped in ice, it was decided that the animals would have to be shot. McNish took the loss of Mrs. Chippy particularly hard.
In 2004 a life-size bronze statue of Mrs. Chippy was placed on the grave of McNish by the New Zealand Antarctic Society in recognition of his efforts on the expedition.
Homeless Cats, Braunschweig, Germany
German sculptor Siegfried Neuenhausen designed this 1981 monument to homeless cats in Braunschweig, Germany.
Tombili, Istanbul, Turkey
Tomblii was a cat made internet-famous when a photo of him lounging went viral online. It’s not known if Tombili had a home of his own, but the cat’s chubby body and sweet demeanor suggests he had plenty of humans who made sure he was taken care of! After the sweet kitty passed away, the cherished feline received one of the highest honors anyone can get – a statue erected in his honor! A petition on change.org – signed by 17,280 people – asked for a sculpture of the famous cat, so sculptor Seval Şahin built the commemorative piece. The sculpture was revealed on World Animal Day, October 4th 2016, in the exact same location where Tombili posed for the famous picture.
Gotokuji Temple, Tokyo, Japan
Legend has it that Gotokuji, a Buddhist temple in Tokyo, is the birthplace of the Maneki-Neko – the lucky cat. It is said that a wealthy samurai was taking shelter under a tree near the temple when he noticed the temple priest’s cat beckoning to him to take shelter inside. Just as he approached the cat, the tree he’d been sheltering under was struck by lightning. Grateful that the cat had saved his life, the wealthy samurai gifted the temple with funding for its upkeep. When the cat died, a statue was created in his likeness, thus creating the ‘lucky cat’ we know today.
There are over one thousand cat statues at the Gotokuji temple, and this gains the temple a lot of attention. Beyond the statues, the grounds are beautiful. This place is well worth a visit!