Possibly the world's best gimmick! And all it costs is cat-food! A true and on-going story.
If you're a struggling city or an ailing corporation
And you are in a penniless and failing situation,
And you're looking for a way out and you don't know what to do,
And the puzzled Chief Executives just haven't got a clue
The Wakayama Railway is quite well-worth looking at,
Railway and the cat. Wakayama
Now the the Kishigawa Line was losing money every day,
However hard they tried they simply couldn't make it pay.
The customers were very few, they much preferred to drive,
And the Kinokawa railway station seemed but half alive.
The Station-Master couldn't help but feel quite insecure.
He said 'I'm going to lose my job, for sure.'
One day a cleaner carried in a fluffy cat, a stray,
And little did they realise it was their lucky day.
The tortoiseshell was friendly and so, very soon, installed,
And Tama was the name by which that little cat was called.
At night she slept with Toshiko in a nearby grocery store,
In a cosy little basket on the floor;
But, by day, she walked the platforms with an air of feline grace,
And she seemed to know the station was her very special place.
'She acts just like a Stationmaster!' somebody remarked,
For her manner of authority was very clearly marked.
So they made a little Stationmaster's cap to fit her head!
'She looks perfect now!' the railway people said.
Things would have ended there, but a little girl espied
The Stationmaster Cat when she was going for a ride.
And the next day she invited all her friends to come and see
The cat at Kinokawa , which was cute as it could be.
And the cat was very friendly and came up to them and purred.
And that is how the miracle occurred.
The people flocked to Kinokawa, just to see the cat!
Train-loads came to see her! What do you think of that!
The railway trade increased by quite a large percentage plus!
The Kishigawa line had far more takers than the bus!
And Tama still paraded like a proper little pro,
In her cap she kept parading to and fro.
Now Tama is world-famous, well, at least in all
And everyone is keen to see her, if they find they can.
She's had stories written round her, she's been featured on TV,
There's lots of merchandising and some great publicity.
And all she has to do is be a normal sort of cat,
But one who's in Stationmaster's hat!
The coffers of the town have swelled and seem to keep on swelling,
And where it's going to end, well, there is simply just no telling!
They even have some carriages for giving special rides
And these carriages have little Tama painted on the sides!
So if you find your finances are falling rather flat,
Get ahead! It's easy! Get a cat!
That's a great poem and a lovely story.
Reminds me of the story of Shep in Ft. Benton, MT though of a different generation! You might want to google it for fun.
Well now I am going to research this special cat and see if I can find a photo of her.
A lovely tribute. Should inspire all Kats..!! Thank you soooo much.
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