Japanese Google Doodle Honors Late Cat Stationmaster on 18th Birthday

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

If you accessed the Google search engine on April 29, you may have a noticed a particularly cute calico cat playing with a toy train. The Doodle was viewable to countries outside of North America.

The Google Doodle was drawn by Lydia Nichols and celebrated what would have been Wakayama stationmaster Tama's 18th birthday. The head of Kishi Station passed away in 2015. The cat was acknowledged for bringing in throngs of tourists and boosted the station's overall business to 2.27 million passengers in 2014 from 1.92 million in 2005. The station sold photos and merchandise of the tortoise-shell feline and she was summarily promoted again to acting president of Wakayama Electric Railway in 2013.

The prefecture's government introduced its own Hall of Fame specifically for people and animals that bring positive attention to the area. The prefecture honored Tama as the first inductee into the Hall of Fame on February 2, 2016. Tama became "Tama Daimyojin" at her funeral, a title that designates the cat as a local deity. She was also bestowed the title "honorable eternal stationmaster" and has a shrine installed at Kishi Station.

Since Tama's passing, the railway hired Nitama (Tama the 2nd) to take over her duties

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