When a small Japanese train station had its last human employee laid off in 2006, a cat was appointed as stationmaster. Tama, a friendly, patient calico cat, would greet customers arriving at the station. In Japan, cats are considered symbols of good fortune, and Tama certainly brought great fortune to the train company. Revenue came pouring in as Tama became a sensation, and people flocked to see the only feline stationmaster in Japan (and, let’s face it, probably the world).
Sadly, Tama passed away last week at 16 (quite old in cat years). A shrine has been erected to honor her, and in the Shinto religion, Tama has been elevated to the position of goddess.
In what will no doubt become tradition, a second calico cat is training to be their new stationmaster.