The maneki-neko also called the "Chinese lucky cat" is a lucky charm which is believed to bring good luck to the owner. This new version of Lucky Cat beckoning both paws to attract money and customers, was created after 2008 when the derivatives disaster almost wiped out the world economy. The new Lucky Cat became popular and it is the most sold at the present. It represent happiness, good luck and attract money.
Figurine measure 1.75 h x 2" W
color and prints on cats are not the same all hand painted.
- The Legends Behind This Lucky Cat
Fortune Cat is known as Maneki Neko in Japanese, which means “beckoning cat.” The cat has its paw raised as if it’s waving in good fortune for its owners. Other common monikers include Lucky Cat, Money Cat and Welcoming Cat.
No one can quite agree as to how the first Maneki Neko came to be. However, most will agree that Lucky Cats first appeared during the Edo period in Japan (17th century to mid-19th century).
There are a couple of popular legends about the origins of the Lucky Cat. The first tells of a wealthy man who took shelter from a rainstorm under a tree next to a temple. He noticed a cat that seemed to be beckoning to him, so he followed it inside the temple. Shortly thereafter, lightning struck the tree he had been standing under. Because the cat had saved his life, the man was so grateful, he became a benefactor of the temple and brought it much prosperity. When he passed away, a statue of the cat was made in is honor.
Another common legend is a really peculiar one. A geisha had a pet cat that she adored. One day, it was tugging at her kimono and the owner of the brothel thought the cat was possessed, so he sliced off its head with a sword. (Yeah, gruesome! No cats were harmed in the writing of this article.)
The flying cat head landed on a snake about to strike and the fangs killed the snake and saved the woman. The geisha was so distraught by the loss of her cat that one of her customers made a statue of the cat to cheer her up.
- The Significance of the Maneki Neko’s Raised Paw
There’s actually a meaning behind which paw the cat is holding up. If it’s the left paw, this is supposed to attract customers. If the right paw is raised, this invites good fortune and money.
They both sound pretty good to me, which is why sometimes you can find a Fortune Cat with both of its paws in the air.