Cats make wonderful and loving pets and have for thousands and thousands of years. In fact, in ancient Egypt felines were worshipped as deities. While people don’t quite pray to their persians and and tabbies, some cats are still lauded and afforded godlike respect.
In Japan in rural Wakayama, the Kishigawa railway line was suffering horribly, losing an average of ¥500 million a year ($4 million) at its very worst. In 2006, things were going so poorly that all of the employees left the station – well, the human employees at least. The only staff member left was Tama, the station master – a cat. With her adorable little outfit and custom station house (cat perch), the railway saw a 10% increase in visit in Tama’s first year. During her entire tenure, she brought visitors that pumped ¥1.1 billion ($8.9 million) into the local economy. With all of the good she’s brought about, Tama, who recently passed away at the age of 16 (approximately 80 cat years), is going to be granted the status of a Shinto goddess and will soon be built a shrine. A total of 3,000 people attended her funeral.