Cats have been taking the world without making so much noise. And by that we don’t mean that they are taking over the Internet, they are actually taking over the world, the real one that is.
Meet Tama, a station master and operating officer at the Kishi station in Japan. And if you haven’t heard, she’s a cat.
So how in the name of the almighty McDonald’s did he become employed in a train station in Japan? Well’ let’s go back 12 years ago. A small railroad company was having difficulties to stay on track (pun intended yeah!) and had been recently consolidated forming the Wakayama Electric Railway. The consolidation left a lot homeless including this cat shelter that paved the way to build new tracks.
Saddened by this unfortunate situation, an old woman who had been the caretaker of these cats approached the president of the railway during the opening ceremony carrying a request, let the cats live in the freaking station to avoid eviction. Hence, the stray cat Tama was introduced to the railway company president.
Mitsunobu Kojima, then president of the railway company shares his first meeting with Tama saying
“The moment I met eyes with Tama, I was immediately struck with an image of Tama as station master.”
Although he identified himself as a dog person, he saw that Tama was a lucky charm to bring good business, to which Tama did not disappoint.
Soon enough, with the news spreading like wildfire, and humans having the knack of going gaga over odd things drew so much attention. All of a sudden, the train station began to feel a steady increase of passengers. The tourism also grew from travel, food, and Tama-memorabilia sales and commercial stints.
To wit, Tama has helped over 11 million dollars for the once succumbing train line.
And in 2008, Tama was promoted into a Super Station Master (without a cape though) and had been given a new window office and an official hat (yay hats!) and a badge.
She also earns an annual compensation in cat food.
Today, Tama is 16 years old and after years of becoming a Super Station Master, she now contemplates retirement. Good news though, she can be replaced by her protege and assistant, Chibi, who happens to also be a cat.
Talk about rags to riches. Tama is an inspiration to all cats out there! Mewow!