Wouldn’t it be great if your local train station had a resident cat? Well, for commuters and staff at one British station, that dream became a reality. Now, after years of loyal service, this choo-choo kitty has been given an important promotion.
Felix was brought to Huddersfield Station in Yorkshire, U.K. way back in 2011. At just nine weeks old, the little kitty had been adopted by station staff for one very good reason: a job, indeed, that she was born to do.
The kitten was to become Huddersfield Station’s best pest controller. Naturally, her job was to keep mice and rats at bay, but staff soon found that she had other talents, too.
As well as catching and deterring rodents from plaguing the platforms, moreover, she was exceptional at scaring away pigeons. Before long, then, she became a regular, if decidedly quirky, feature of the station.
Unsurprisingly, station staff and train passengers fell totally in love with her. And, taking Felix’s important status into consideration, the First TransPennine Express company began to make the station a little more cat friendly.
For example, to help out their paw-sengers coming and going through the station, the company had a Felix-sized cat flap installed next to the ticket barriers. Needless to say, it’s a pretty cute touch.
What’s more, Felix even has her very own Facebook page. Adorably, she lists her personal interests as “eating, sleeping, cuddling, scratching, meowing, pigeon chasing, purring, tummy tickles and cat treats.”
And it seems as if she has quite the personality online to boot. “The station is looking remarkably pest free if I do say so myself!” she – or the human in charge of her Facebook account – posted to accompany a snap of the feline.
Furthermore, some of her fans at the station even bring her toys and snacks. “Many thanks to Althea and Patricia for their gift today,” “she” wrote after she had received a pack of kitty treats.
But undoubtedly Felix’s biggest moment came in February 2016 – when she received a promotion. That’s right: in honor of her five years of loyal service, Felix was made Huddersfield Station’s Senior Pest Controller.
With the promotion, then, came a new uniform. And Felix can now be seen wandering around the station in a high-visibility vest complete with a personalized name badge – this kitty means business.
“Felix came to the station when she was nine weeks old, five years ago,” a spokesperson for First TransPennine Express told the BBC in February 2016. “We haven’t kept a mice tally, but we think she’s caught three recently.”
And although she was already popular on Facebook before the promotion, with around 1,000 fans, news of her official title launched her to internet fame. Felix, in fact, quickly became a global phenomenon.
After her promotion in February 2016, she started to even gain international publicity, though she was pretty casual about it. But
given her adorable face and fantastic backstory, perhaps it was inevitable.
Her story, moreover, captured the attention of media organizations across the globe. Felix was even featured in newspapers in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
And her Facebook following exploded, too: as of August 2016 Felix now entertains over 80,000 fans from all over the world. But she’s not the only famous station cat out there.
In Japan, for example, a stray cat called Tama was made a station master. She became a massive hit with tourists who flocked to see her, and her fame brought much needed revenue to the railway company, which was struggling to stay afloat.
In fact, Tama was so popular that when she died in June 2015, thousands of people attended her funeral. During the Shinto ceremony, the cat metaphorically transformed into a goddess.
As for Felix, she still has a long road ahead of her in her new role, and every step she takes on her adventure through the station is precious. Indeed, in August 2016 she entered a five-kilometer sponsored walk to raise money for a local children’s charity.
Conveniently, her step-by-step progress toward her goal is being recorded by a GPS tracking device in her collar. As of mid-August, then, she was well underway, but there was still a long stretch to go. Five kilometers – just over three miles – is a big distance when you have tiny legs.