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Paws up for Lucky Cats: The meaning behind them

If you’ve ever walked into a Chinese restaurant or grocery store or even a Feng Shui advocate’s home, you will find a ceramic figurine of a cat sitting prominently near the entry. One paw is typically movable.

The idea of a Lucky Cat originated first in Japan. According to Japanese folklore, a man was sitting under a tree when a thunderstorm broke out. A cat came by and beckoned him to go to a nearby church to take cover. (I guess he pointed with his little paw.) The man had no more than left his spot under the tree when it was struck by lightning – which would have surely killed him. From then on, cats were considered a lucky animal to have around.

Here are some interesting facts about the lucky cat:

  1. In Japan, the lucky cat is called a “Beckoning Cat” (Manecki Neko) because it seems to be beckoning to people walking by. They are also known as Money Cats, Fortune Cats or Welcoming Cats.
  2. If the right paw is beckoning, it is intended to bring in customers. If the left paw is waving, it is intended to bring in money and good fortune. If both paws are up, the cat is there for protection.
  3. The paw that is not waving is often holding another symbol for good luck or good fortune – a gem, a wallet, a coin or a fish.
  4. The Lucky Cat should be positioned near the front entry to maximize its influence on the people or energy going by.
  5. The color of the cat can also lend additional positive energy. If the Lucky Cat is gold, it represents prosperity; if it is white it represents positive occurrences in the future. A black Lucky Cat wards off evil; a red one represents success in love, and a green one is for good health. The luckiest of all is the calico cat which sports orange and black spots.

Big or small the Lucky Cat provides intention toward bringing some element of good fortune into the household or the business. Some of the cats are now battery-operated so the paw continuously motions in positive results. As a result, good fortune can be showing up night and day. And, if you’re a cat lover – well, this is a perfect addition to your space.