Welcome Maneki-Neko.

You know, I always wanted a Maneki-Neko, a Japanese fortune cat, or money cat, or lucky cat, he goes by many names. I find him endearingly tacky, and he reminds me of Japan (which I love), or even little shops in Chinatown where we Chinese have culturallly appropriated a cat with the aim of greed and economic dominance prosperity. Also, Dad had one in his office.

However, I’ve never really found one that has called out to me. When I’ve seen them in shops, they seem equally tacky and charming in their varieties and I was unable to decide between them. Yesterday, riding home on the Bourke Street Cycleway, there was a garage, yard, sidewalk sale (is that what they’re reduced to for people who have neither garages nor yards?). They were packing up, and one of the only items still out on the street was this little Maneki-Neko. Two dollars, no holler. How appropriate to get a bargain fortune cat.


On the other hand, when I put the battery in, I discover that Fortune Cat’s beckoning arm (Westerns often think the cat is waving, but no, the cat is beckoning fortune) moves so quickly that it is looks much less lucky than an arm about to be wrenched out of its socket. It makes a tack-tack-tacking sound with the arm swinging back and forth and hitting its maximum trajectory. Not particularly conducive to my concentration… at work… where I make my (financial) fortune.

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Poor Maneki-Neko. I’ll just have to leave you hobbled and battery-less, and I’ll try to bring my salary without your extra beckoning gesture. You’re still a lovely shiny colour of gold.


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