Meet Tombi, The Cat That Loves School

Is there anything more precious than a cat who loves to learn?

By Catalina Barrios


Credit: Twitter / @DailySabah

School is one of my most beautiful memories.  Where I come from, there are no divisions of school into elementary, middle or high; you complete all 10 years of education in the same building. I met my best friend in the third grade and we are still friends today, even though we now live in different countries. Presently, it gives me great joy to listen to my son talk about his teacher, classmates, and express the fun time he has had while away at his “second home”.

An elementary school in Turkey has a very special class member that brings the students such fun and comfort. It is Tombi, an adorable orange tabby. He is part of Özlem Pınar Ivaşcu’s class, boasting near perfect attendance and punctuality. Tombi used to live in the school garden before joining the class.


Credit: Twitter / @DailySabah

The feline scholar was briefly denied his opportunity to learn after a parent filed a complaint, saying Tombi was an allergy risk. Ömer Yahşi, the Provincial Director of National Education in Izmir, launched an investigation to see whether the cat actually posed a health risk to the students.


Credit: Anadolu Kedisi

During this evaluation phase, Ivaşçu said her students were in tears from missing Tombi. The children wrote him letters and drew pictures expressing their love and sadness over his absence. After seeing this outpouring and assessing any legitimate risks, the Director ordered Tombi back to class.

The children now take charge of the care of Tombi, checking to be sure he has enough food and water, attending to his petting needs, and always reducing their noise during Tombi’s naps. In fact, Tombi’s ability to keep a room full of rambunctious students quiet, is an inspiration for every elementary classroom.


Credit: Anadolu Kedisi

Tombi sits calmly on a desk during lessons and walks without disturbing his classmates during their work period. When it has all become too much for a kitty, Tombi can be found napping in his favorite corner.

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