Mews: Tama the stationmaster cat has passed away

Hi everyone,

While this comes as sad news we would also like to point out that Tama managed to reach the great age of 16 in cat years making her a good 80 years in human years!

Tama was born in 1999 at which point the Kishi Station was still managed by Nankai Electric Railway. The cute Calico was taken in by the station’s employees, they even setup a little house for her next to the main office.

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Tama held the role since 2007 (Picture: Getty Images)
In 2006 the Nankai Electric, and thus Kishi Station, was absorbed by Wakayama Electric Railway. At this point Tama’s caretakers made a direct request to Wakayama Electric’s president, Mitsunobu Kojima, that the station’s new owners continue to allow the kitty to live on the premises. Kojima did them one better by promoting Tama to stationmaster.

Given how many people in Japan love animals, trains, and/or cute things, it wasn’t long before Stationmaster Tama became nationally famous, and she’s credited with helping to revitalize the community by drawing visitors from all over Japan. In fact ABC News reported on a study claiming that her fame contributed an incredible 1.1 billion yen to the local economy in 2007 alone.

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Tama at the ceremony celebrating her new role as ‘super stationmaster’ (Picture: Flickr/ Douglas Sprott)
In January of 2014, Tama was promoted to Ultra Stationmaster, making her, in name, stationmaster of all of the company’s stations. At the time, Yoshiko Yamaki, a spokeswoman for the rail company, joked: ‘She now holds the fifth highest position in the company.’

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Source: Twitter
Tama is survived by Stationmaster Nitama, whom the company has been grooming as her eventual replacement.

In honor of Tama’s many years of service, Wakayama Electric will be holding a company funeral, presided over by President Kojima himself, as Kishi Station at noon today Japan time (June 28 2015). Considering that some 300 well-wishers showed up for Tama’s birthday celebration in April, we imagine the ceremony will likewise draw a large crowd, and also plenty of tears.

For those wishing to visit Wakayama City more details can be found on the tourist website here.

Check it out as you wouldn’t want to miss out on riding this train! 😀

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Sources: Metro & Rocket News

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66 thoughts on “Mews: Tama the stationmaster cat has passed away

    1. Indeed! She had a long and happy life though and that’s the most important. And since she has her own train she will be remembered for years to come 🙂

  1. Cats beautiful cats furballs and catnip,while we are in the mood,cats are not just for people,while we stop to think, the train people seem to like them
    As always Sheldon

  2. I first read about her when I googled the Cat Island when the big tsunami hit several years ago and vowed to visit her if I ever made it to Japan. It brought up cats in Japan so I read most of the articles.
    Rest in peace little one.
    I hope they will appoint a successor but that will need to be a very special cat.

    1. They appointed a successor already 🙂 Tama has been training Nitama another calico cat to be her successor eventually. Sadly needed much earlier than the train company expected. :(. I do love the fact though that they tried everything to safe her and paid loads of money for her to be in hospital. Sadly she still passed on but it shows how much Japan cares for their animals. 🙂

      We will be going to the cat island next year btw 😀

      1. I had neighbors (members of a cat sitting club where I used to live) who moved to Japan several years ago and took their cat “Bomber” with them. The airline did ask that his name be changed for the flight though.
        I cared for their cats many times and they cared for mine while we all lived in that complex.
        Bomber is very happy in his new home in Japan and has several new cat brothers and sisters.
        I’m looking forward to your reporting back on Cat Island next year.

  3. Very sad news about this GORGEOUS CALICO CAT. To me, 16 is a KITTEN!

    Ms. Cali made it to just past her 19th Birthday and she was the most beautiful calico DSH cat I have every seen in my life (but I am biased, of course).

    If this 16 year old beauty was 80; that makes my Ms. Cali well over 100 in human years. It sounds like Tama lived a very wonderful life and had CELEBRITY STATUS. And, SHE WAS ONE OF A KIND AND CAN NEVER BE REPLACED. To her guardian: well meaning people will tell you: “JUST GO AND BUY ANOTHER CAT” like she was a stuffed animal. Try not to get hurt or angry; they are ignorant and NOT animal people or the would NOT say such horrible things to you. But I admit, I still am furious when I hear this constantly as its the first thing ignorant people say to you. I just NEVER reply at all. IGNORE THEM.

    She will ALWAYS live on FOREVER in your heart and no one can take all your memories together or all the PHOTOS and articles about your SPECIAL Tama! She is eternally YOUR cat and you will be together forever someday. At least I like to believe that.

    Tama, please go and make friends with my beloved Ms. Cali and the two of you can have a blast.

    I have been waiting now for a month for Ms. Cali to try to communicate with me “spiritually” (she told our cat communicator she WOULD try to reach out spiritually). If she ever has, I may well have MISSED it due to all my massive grief over the loss of MOM right after Ms. Cali was euthanized. Losing Mom and my very best friend together was my WORST NIGHTMARE, but that is just what happened.

    As stated, Tama, you appear to be quite the CELEBRITY, having your own TRAIN and so many FRIENDS.

    That is just amazing and so are you.

    I pray that you REST IN LOVING PEACE and that you DO meet Ms. Cali.

    Its hard to tell you apart, except Ms. Cali’s face was half black and half white and she looked like she was wearing a mask. I don’t think she would have worn YOUR HAT, but YOU were (and ARE) a very SPECIAL, UNIQUE and FAMOUS kitty.

    It sounds like this WORLD is really going to MISS you, sweet little girl! Sending all my love and VERY BEST WISHES to all of your family who is grieving a WORLD without YOU IN IT. <3

  4. She’s waiting at the most fantastic station house now, having crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

    I recall hearing about her years ago. Beautiful cat. Now she’s making friends with everyone who awaits us at that crossing.

  5. I am so sad to hear this, she was so lovely cat, I pray too that you REST IN LOVING PEACE, lovely TAMA… I did a post in the past for you,

    I pray that you REST IN LOVING PEACE and that you DO meet Ms. Cali.

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