Thursday 15 June 2023

Ginger tabby cat embarks a Japanese train and is politely ejected

This couple of photographs have received a certain amount of fame on Twitter. The story went viral I guess for two reasons. Firstly, it is unusual for a wandering domestic cat to get onto a railway station platform and then try and jump onto a train. This has to be a very confident cat without fear of strangers and strange events.

Ginger tabby cat tries to embark a Japanese train and is politely ejected
Ginger tabby cat tries to embark a Japanese train and is politely ejected by the guard or driver. Image: Twitter.

Or perhaps the cat was used to getting onto trains! The train in question runs along the Kamaishi Line in Eastern Japan.

I'm told that the cat actually got onto the train and stayed there for 30 seconds before the driver or the guard spotted him and politely ejected him. He didn't have a ticket!

My guess is that he is male because nearly all ginger tabby cats are male.

This isn't the first time that cats have been seen to jump onto public transport. I've seen several domestic cats jump onto buses in the UK. Not in person but in videos and photographs online.

Japan is quite famous for its stray cats. They do like their cats in Japan and are generally respectful of them.

On the website there is another photograph of another cat on a train integrating nicely with the passengers one of whom is reading a book. The cat joins him in reading that book! It looks as though this cat was on the train for quite a long time. See image below:

Domestic cat travels on Japanese train
Domestic cat travels on Japanese train. Image:

What kind of cat does this? Both these cats look fit and in good condition. They might be fully-fledged domestic cats living with a human caregiver but with a great tendency to wander. They might disappear for a day or two and then come home. Sometimes cats are like that.

They might be stray cats who are looked after and therefore you might call them "community cats". It looks dangerous to me. I am fearful for their safety.

I've seen one domestic cat snoozing on the ticket barrier at an underground station.  It must have been warm. And another sleeping just at the top end of an escalator in an underground station. At the exact point where many thousands of people exit the escalator. Amazing and extraordinary. Once again, I expect the cat was there because the electric motor was just below the surface emitting heat.

These cats like human activity but above all warmth. They might be lonely. They might live in a home where the owner is out all day. That's a remote possibility but it does take quite an extraordinary cat to put themselves in such vulnerable positions surrounded by many thousands of people throughout the day.

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