Ginger cat Nala is usually found perched on a ticket gate of the Stevenage Railway station, greeting passengers as they board their trains.
Commuting through Stevenage Railway station is never boring for travelers as they are regularly graced with the presence of the railway cat, Nala. She is a lovely presence at the station who ensures passengers always leave with a smile, per BBC. Though mistaken as lost by many, Nala actually has an owner who lets her roam around as she wishes. She ensures that her cat doesn't fall in harm's way and lets her spread joy everywhere. There are many other places that she frequents in the city, but her favorite haunt has always been the station. The station has also welcomed her with open arms.
Ginger cat Nala is usually found perched on a ticket gate of the Stevengage Railway station, greeting passengers as they board their trains. Over the years, thousands of people have stopped during their commute to click pictures with the adorable cat. Seeing people's love for the cat, Nala's owner, Natasha Ambler, set up a Facebook page named 'The Adventures of Nala' for people to post their memories. Talking about her cat's adventures, Ambler shared how Nala loves the attention that is showered on her by the passengers. She goes to the station both morning and evening because "she knows what time the commuters will be there."
Nala has a great home with Ambler but loves to roam outside and explore other places. Ambler does not stop her and for her safety, has put a GPS on her to keep track of her movement. Ambler shared that Nala's favorite spots are the station and the leisure park beside it, but she doesn't like to limit herself. "Once she spent most of the night in a cinema and a friend had to go and bring her home," Miss Ambler said.
In some of her initial travails, Nala confused many individuals into thinking she was a lost cat. Therefore, Ambler attached a collar to Nala with her details. Even then she was receiving "about 20 calls a day from people asking if our cat was lost." Ultimately, she had to get another tag to inform people that Nala was not lost. Ambler on being asked whether she worried about Nala's safety answered, "Not at all, she's obviously well-loved and she's very happy doing what she does. I just hope one day she doesn't actually try to get on a train."
Shaun Smith, Great Northern's station manager at Stevenage, expressed happiness at the cat's presence and commented, "She's breaking down barriers by making people smile and starting cheerful conversations between staff and customers—helping our team and our tenants at the station feel part of the local community, which is rewarding for everyone."
Nala is not the first cat that has made a railway station their home. Another beloved cat, Jess, became the main attraction of the Andover station, when his owner abandoned him there, as per BBC. Thereafter, he was looked after by staff at Andover station and became an apple of their eye. Unfortunately, he recently passed away. Tracey Jones, one of the workers who looked after him, shared how much the loss had impacted the community, "I'm devastated that I've lost him. Everyone from the community is just as upset and we've had such a massive amount of messages and support from everyone - it's amazing how much of an impact he had on so many people."