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During the mid-2000s, the Kishi Train Station in Japan began to deteriorate. By 2006, Kishi Station was left completely unstaffed because of low ridership and financial problems. However, one last resident still remained after everyone else was long gone: a black, white, and tan cat named Tama. Tama first appeared at the station as a young cat in the late 1990s. She lived near the train station and would visit commuters daily to receive affection and the occasional treat. But, as it turned out, her continued visits to Kishi Station would end up playing a much bigger role for the station. The same year it became unstaffed, residents living near the station asked the president of the Wakayama Electric Railway, Mitsunobu Kojima, to revive the station because the cat’s survival depended on it. It turns out Tama’s original owner had asked the railway workers Even with “The Federalist Papers” circulating, the Constitution was only ratified in Massachusetts, Maryland, and South Carolina under the assurance that amendments would soon be proposed that would provide additional protections. Tireless in his efforts, Madison went to work on the Bill of Rights, which he promptly wrote and passed into law. Madison was an abolitionist, and although he did not free his own slaves or write the end of slavery into the Constitution, he helped lay the groundwork for ending slavery. In a historically groundbreaking move, Madison referred to slaves as people rather than belongings, which was remarkable since not many people were speaking, let alone thinking, in that way at the time. On his birthday this year, Madison should be remembered not only as a man of great intellect and accomplishment but also as a man whose life was characterized by hard work and humility. With that in mind, he would not want his birthday to come and go without a nod to his wife, Dolley, born Dolley Payne Todd.
and, for this reason, she is often credited with defining the role of the first lady.
While Madison was described as shy and quiet, Dolley, who was 17 years his junior, was famous for being vivacious, loud, and well-loved by everyone. During Madison’s presidency, she hosted and entertained countless guests at the White House, where politicians from many different backgrounds and viewpoints gathered and socialized. Many political alliances and bridges were built under Dolley’s watch,
Many of the good aspects of America today can be traced back to the efforts of James Madison. On his birthday this year, let’s celebrate him by remembering the contributions he made to our government, our freedom, our justice, and the very fabric of our nation.
TAMA, THE CALICO The First Feline Stationmaster in All of Japan
to care for her before he moved away — he couldn’t bear to take her from the station she loved to visit so much. So, Kojima decided to go meet Tama. He liked her immediately and adopted her. A year later, Tama was officially named the Stationmaster of Kishi Station, the first cat stationmaster in Japan. To complete her look, Kojima gave her a small conductor hat to wear as she greeted commuters from her window perch inside the ticket gates. As an official stationmaster, Tama became well known all across Japan and throughout the world. She appeared in the media and on promotional materials that soon brought much-needed foot traffic to Kishi Station. Thousands of tourists came rushing to Kishi to see Tama for themselves, ride the Tamaden carriage, and pick up Tama merchandise inside the station.
Tama brought joy to all commuters for the next several years before passing away in 2015. Nearly 3,000 people attended her funeral, and her legacy lives on. Tama’s successors continue as stationmasters: Nitama, who serves as Kishi stationmaster, and assistant Yontama at Idakiso, five stations away. Tama’s friendly and loving nature impacted many people around her, and she will always be affectionately known as the cat who saved the Japanese train station.
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