Thousands attended Tama's elaborate funeral on Sunday with an outpouring of grief reserved for the passing of a cultural icon.
Tama very quickly became Japan’s most famous cat after she was appointed honorary stationmaster at the unmanned Kishi station in rural Wakayama prefecture, western Japan, in 2007. The nine-mile-long line was losing millions of yen. When the station’s last employee left as part of a cost-cutting drive in 2006, Tama gave the station a new lease of life.
When passengers arrived at Kishi station in western Japan, they were greeted by Tama, A Calico cat born April 29, 1999, in Kinokawa, Wakayama, Japan. Her feline charms brought a sleepy Kishigawa line back to life. Before long, visitors flocked to the station to see the former stray welcome and see off passengers.
The Japanese faith in cats as harbingers of good fortune paid off along one of the suburban railway lines in Japan. She created a much-needed income for the heavily-indebted line. One year after she was appointed as stationmaster, passenger numbers rose 10% to 2.1 million a year.
So we bid farewell to Tama the Cat, Kishi Stations Savior.