I love stories about animals, especially when they are regarded with high esteem.
This story is about a lady cat who saved a train station and because a goddess.
Tama was one of the stray cats who lived around the Kishi Station in Kinokawa, Wakayama Japan.
All of the strays were fed regularly by the station master at that time, but Tama was adopted, a few years later she was officially chosen as station master.
Her duties included greeting all the passengers and wearing her official hat and custom Jacket.
After she was officially appointed to station master her station gained 17% more passengers from the previous year, and the next year her publicity contributed 1.1 billion yen ($8.9m; £5.7m) to the local economy.
The following year she was promoted to “super station master” which made her the only female in a managerial position in the company.
Obviously a promotion brought new perks including an official office, which was a converted ticket booth with facilities in case she needed them.
Two years later another promotion, this time she would become Operating officer in recognition of her popularity amongst her customers. While taking the position of operating officer she also maintained her position as the station master as well.
Tama was now the first cat to become an executive of a railroad corporation.
Of course Tama had a small staff to help with her duties, her sister Chibi and mother Miiiko were there to help in any way she needed.
I’m sure that was quite a relief since it does seem like a lot of work for just one lady cat.
Tama has been revered in many countries being interviewed and filmed. She even had her own train on the line which is decorated with depictions of her and decorated very much in the style of a comfortable place for cats to ride if they chose to ride trains.
A new station was also built to resemble a cats face.
Tama presided over her incredible domain until June this year. She passed away at the age of 16 from heart failure.
Thousand of fans came from all over Japan to honor her.
She was given a Shinto style funeral at the station along with the title “Honorable Eternal Stationmaster”
She will be enshrined as a goddess in this August at a nearby cat shrine.
She has been succeeded by her deputy Nitama.
Rest well Eternal Stationmaster. It’s truly amazing what one cat can do to change people’s lives.
Wakayama Station Master Tama April 29, 1999 – June 22, 2015