A loss-making Japanese railway company is back on track thanks to the popularity of a stray cat.
Wearing a black cap and posing for photos with passengers, Tama is credited with boosting Wakayama Electric Railway’s revenue by 10%.
“She never complains, even though passengers touch her all over the place. She is an amazing cat. She has patience and charisma. She is the perfect station master,” said Yoshiko Yamaki, a spokeswoman for the rail company.
The nine-year-old – who receives cat food in lieu of a salary – won national stardom last year when the firm formally appointed her as “station master”.
Since then passengers have been gradually returning, recently rising 10% to about 2.1 million a year.