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Tama wasn’t just any old cat to this community. This beloved railway exec cat who died in Japan last week had a funeral that was truly fit for a goddess. Rail officials and thousands of fans attended the funeral for feline who died last week after years of attracting tourists to a rail station in Western Japan. She was “elevated to the status of a goddess according to the BBC, at her Shinto-style funeral and titled an “honorary permanent stationmaster.”
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Once simply a stray cat, roaming the streets of the rural Japanese town of Wakayama, Tama was adopted and named the head of the Kishi train station eight years ago. She became famous not long after, with word spreading a cat held a prominent infrastructure position. By the end of her life, at the age of 16, she was indisputably Japan’s most famous cat.
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Tama was said to have bettered the lives of thousands, with her fame bringing fortune to the train line which had been losing millions of dollars every year due to dwindling travelers in the region. Since being appointed in 2007, the train line was given a new lease on life, and the local economy grew by $8.9 million.
The company president was especially grateful to the cat whose stardom helped save the livelihoods of countless people who relied on the train line for jobs and tourism, visited her just before she died. Despite being weary and ill, Tama was said to have stood up and greeted her longtime colleague with a meow.
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