It’s not every day that a cat decides to become an elementary school student. However, that’s exactly what happened in Izmir, Turkey. This stray cat made his way into a classroom one day and just refused to leave. You won’t believe how the students reacted to his intrusion!
One day, an adorable ginger cat stumbled into an elementary school classroom in Izmir, Turkey. No one knew where the cat came from and everyone was shocked by its appearance. The cat was named Tombi.
19. Unusual Behavior
Tombi showed up one day in the school’s garden. Unlike most stray cats, that are scared and unapproachable, Tombi was immediately friendly. All of the children quickly fell in love with the cat.
18. Coming Back
Each day, Tombi would come back without hesitations. Tombi absolutely loved the attention that he was receiving from the children and would often beg for more. However, after hanging out in the garden, Tombi decided to step things up.
Then one day, Özlem Pınar Ivaşcu, the school’s third grade teacher, noticed that Tombi was no longer hanging out in the garden. The cat decided that he was bored of gardening and wanted to get a read education. So he made his way into the classroom!
16. New Student
“He came into our classroom,” teacher Özlem Pınar Ivaşcu told The Dodo. “The children liked him very much.” Tombi then became a regular part of the learning process. But was he a distraction to the kids?
15. Children’s Reaction
One would assume that having a cat crawling around a classroom would be a pretty big distraction to the children. After all, wouldn’t they want to run around after it all day? However, Ivaşcu noticed that the cat was actually having the opposite effect on the children.
14. Behavioral Change
“When he first joined our class, I noticed a change in the children’s behavior. They were more careful and stopped running around in the classroom. They couldn’t wait to come back to school the next morning (which is remarkable for some 9-year-old children),” Ivaşcu stated.
It seems that the cat’s presence made the kids more excited about learning. In fact, many of the kids that used to run around would sit still and be more active during lessons. Ivaşcu couldn’t be happier!
12. On Time
“The children come on time to school, and they are taking care of Tombi,” Ivaşcu said. “This is good for them.” However, the kids aren’t the only ones that are enjoying Tombi’s presence in the classroom…
11. Taken Care Of
Tombi is now taken care of and he is quite grateful for it. Tombi now has a warm place to spend his nights, is given daily meals, and has tons of friends that love to give him attention. Ivaşcu has even taken the cat to the vet’s office.
10. A Problem
Then one day a serious problem came up. One of the children’s parents found out that there was a cat hanging out in the classroom and made a formal complaint. Everyone was so upset!
“Unfortunately, one of the parents didn’t agree to have the cat around the kids,” Ivaşcu explained. School officials stated that the cat could pose as a health risk to the children. Eventually Ivaşcu found a new home for Tombi, but the cat was not happy about it.
8. Grumpy Cat
“He didn’t seem to be happy in the house and didn’t get along with the other cat already living there. For three days Tombi didn’t eat almost anything. So together with my husband, we decided to take Tombi back and kept him in our house,” Ivaşcu shared.
The students knew that Tombi was unhappy so they decided to write him letters and draw pictures to cheer him up. İvaşcu eventually shared Tombi’s story on social media and everyone got worked up about it. This would soon change everything…
“The story got a lot of attention and support on all TV news,” İvaşcu said. “I had a lot of support from many people, including from my manager and the director of education in İzmir.” Everyone began to have a real change of heart about the entire situation.
5. Back To School
Eventually the parents and the school officials all agreed to allow Tombi to come back to the school. “With their great support, we decided to return Tombi to school,” İvaşcu said happily.
The children were incredibly happy to have Tombi back in the classroom. They had been waiting for this moment and their wishes finally came true. İvaşcu was also very happy to have him back and admires how much the cat has changed her students for the better.
“Tombi has taught them to be more responsible,” İvaşcu explained. Tombi had a vet appointment recently and some of the children came along to be supportive. Everyone is blown away by the impact the cat has had.
“My husband and I love animals very much, and we hope the story of Tombi will raise awareness for animals like him,” İvaşcu said. “We hope that more and more people realize what wonderful creatures they are.”
It is amazing how much of an impact one animal could have on a classroom of children. These 33 students have learned to love and care for Tombi while also improving their own learning skills. It is truly a win/win situation.