Heartwarming Friendship Between Grandmother And Cat

Story by Taylor Weik.

It doesn’t get much cuter than this. After graduating from the Nippon Photography Institute in Japan in 2002, Miyoko Ihara began taking daily photographs of her grandmother, Misao, to document her life.

One day, Misao walked into her shed to discover a small white kitten with heterochromia –– one eye a warm amber, the other an ice blue. She named the kitten Fukumaru, and the pair have been inseparable ever since.

Ihara captures the growing friendship on camera as the duo work in the fields, munch on watermelon and take naps together. Although both Misao and Fukumaru are hard of hearing, Ihara is able to clearly portray their strong connection to one another. She has since compiled her photography into a book titled “Miyoko Ihara: Misao the Big Mama and Fukumaru the Cat.”

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(photo source)

Image of The Day: The World’s Cutest Kitty Goes Viral

I’m sure all you kitty-owners will protest and claim that you have the cutest kitty in the world, but you have to trust us. This cat is will have you squealing no matter how much you protest.

Snoopybabe, who is allegedly from China, has become an internet sensation. His instagram has gained over 190,000 followers. His facebook has over 1500 and he is no stranger to the tumblr world as well. All this fame is clearly well-deserved!

 

With a squished face and huge eyes, this cat doesn’t even look real. With all the cute qualities of a stuffed animal, this little guy is sure to win your heart over.

 

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Meet Tama: The Japanese Cat Who Saved a Train Station

Walk into the Kishi train station in Kinokawa, Japan, and you’ll be greeted by a station master unlike any other.  She knows little about trains, doesn’t know how to speak Japanese (or any language for that matter)…and she’s a cat.

Tama, a Calico cat, is the adorable station master at Kinokawa City’s train station, and she has single-handedly revitalized the once desolate stop.

The Kishi station was once a financial black hole, with virtually empty trains and losing an estimated $4.7 million a year.  But that soon changed once the Wakayama Electric Railway appointed Toshiko Koyama became station manager.

In 2007, Koyama, who is Tama’s owner, decided to make his furry friend station master, with the simple duty of greeting passengers, a decision that has single-handedly revitalized the stop.  Thanks to the four-legged station official, the station has become its own tourist attraction, experiencing a boost of over $10.4 million, according to some reports.

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And it’s no wonder why folks are flocking to Kishi; Tama is an adorable sight to be seen when she’s on duty.  Decked out in a station master hat and badge, she spends her time in her ticket-booth-turned-office saying hello to the steady stream of folks who visit her during her working hours of 10am-4pm, weekdays only.

Her influence on the area has become so great, that her image has been utilized in every conceivable way possible.  The station has come to house a Tama-themed coffee shop, sells a variety of cat-inspired merchandise (think Hello Kitty, but Calico), runs a Tama train and, get this, has even been remodeled to be in the shape of a cat.

In 2010, she was named Operating Officer, thanks to her contributions in boosting ridership.

In January, her apprentice, Nitama (which translates to “Second Tama”) was named.  Nitama will become Tama’s successor and currently “proxies” for Tama on weekends.

Sources: 1, 2

(All images courtesy of Flickr, Google and The Guardian)