Tama the cat-YouTube

A famous cat conductor who saved a railway from ruin was given a royal send-off by three thousand mourners in a traditional Shinto funeral in Japan on Sunday.

Tama the cat had been attracting travelers to the Kishi train station in western Japan since 2007. The Good News Network featured a video about the Kishigawa railway, which was close to bankruptcy until it turned to this feline for help.

The Japanese consider cats to be harbingers of good fortune, and the 16-year-old calico did not disappoint. In her custom cap and cape, Tama brought in large crowds, boosted tourism, and saved the line.Tara Tabby Cat Award credit SPCALA

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For her years of service, the status of Shinto goddess was bestowed, and, in keeping with the religious tradition of honoring animal deities, she was posthumously appointed “honorable eternal stationmaster.”

Another calico named Nitama, will reportedly take over Tama’s stationmaster duties.

(WATCH the AP video below, or READ more, w/ photos at the Guardian)Photo: YouTube

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