Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Stationmaster cat gets a special Christmas uniform

I was watching the morning news on Japanese TV the other day. Sandwiched between a panel discussion on a philandering golf legend (yes, Tiger Woods is big in Japan) and an interview with a Hollywood star in town to promote a film already released on DVD in some countries (Johnny Depp's Public Enemies hits theatres next week) was a story about Tama the Stationmaster Cat.

According to the news report, Tama will wear a special Christmas uniform until December 25. Tama will greet commuters as they come in and out of Wakayama train station. His kitty-sized Santa suit is sure to fill passengers with the Christmas spirit, in a country where Christmas is celebrated by eating chicken and having sex.

And while we're on the topic of stationmaster cats, someone posted a Tama slideshow on YouTube. The slideshow is cute, creepy and completely absurd. In other words, it is magical.

It gets especially good around the 1:40 mark where a very important looking man wearing a business suit (the mayor, perhaps?) appears to be presenting Tama with some sort of medal of honour. He puts the medal around Tama's neck and then shakes his paw. (Update: My friend Jagna just wrote to say the very important looking man is actually the governor of Wakayama. But wait. It gets better. The title bestowed upon Tama by the governor is that of "Nobleman.")

The paparazzi descend around the 2:00 mark and there are photos of Tama being "interviewed" by TV journalists. By 2:30 he is awarded a prize for two years of service as a stationmaster. The video then moves on to photos of Tama's family, including mom "Miiko" and sibling "Chibi." The whole thing ends with an advertisement for a book detailing Tama's rise to fame -- from regular kitty to celebrity stationmaster.

Consider this an early Christmas present from me (via the morning news on Japanese TV) to you.

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