Famous cat mourned in Japan

Thousands of people in Japan are mourning the loss of a cat.

Tama the feline star of a struggling local railway was mourned by company officials and fans at her funeral on Sunday.

Tama died of heart failure on June 22.

Tama was elevated to 'Goddess' status during her Shinto-style funeral at the station were she served.

The calico was appointed stationmaster at the kishi station in western Japan in 2007.

Tama normally wore a custom-made stationmaster's cap and quietly sat at the ticket gate, welcoming and seeing off passengers.

Her growing notoriety quickly attracted tourists and she became world-famous.

Before her arrival, the rail line was nearly bankruptcy but during her tenure, Tama helped bring in an estimated $8.9 million to the local economy.

Wakayama Electric Railway president Mitsunobu Kojima thanked the cat for her achievement and appointed her "honorable eternal stationmaster".
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