The lucky cat

Maneki Neko, the lucky cat!Thanks to Easyjet I have a little bit of extra money to spend. The first thing I bought was something I have noticed in a lot of cheap Chinese shops. It was a gold colored cat that is waiving its little paw.

I suspected it was some kind of good luck charm and according to Wikipedia there are three popular stories about the lucky cat.

The temple cat: A wealthy Chinese ruler was taking shelter under a tree during a severe storm. A cat from the temple beckoned to the man and followed the cat the in the direction of the temple. Seconds later the tree was struck by lightning. The rich man befriended the poor priests and they prospered. When the cat died, they made a little statue that became the first lucky cat.

The prostitute: One night the cat started pulling on the kimono of a prostitute. The owner of the brothel saw this and cut off the head of the cat. The head flew across the room and could just bite and kill a dangerous snake that was just about to attack. Of course, the whore was broken by grief at the loss of her cat. One of her clients gave her a statue of her cat to cheer her up.

The old lady: An old woman was so poor that she even had to sell her cat. A little later she dreamed of her cat and the cat told her to make a little statue of him (the cat) with clay. The woman was selling the cat statues and started a small business. The cats became so popular that the old woman had no more money worries.

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