The Cat with the waving hand, you’ve seen them, right? The Fortune Cat. This one is great. I have seen them on teachers desks, on the dashboard of taxis, in stores by the cash register, they are everywhere. Supposedly every time the cat waves it’s hand, it’s saying “Money, money, money” and brings good luck & yes, money, to you.
Yes, I have a waving cat. Actually I have two. If one is good luck, then two must be really good luck. Here’s a quick video, with my black man Jazz, he’s totally bored and uninterested in my waving gold cat, and he refuses to wave to me.
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. Two paws up can also represent protection.
While you’ll most commonly see a white Maneki Neko with orange and black spots, there are quite a few color variations and they each have a special meaning.
Calico: Traditional color combination, considered to be the luckiest
White: Happiness, purity, and positive things to come
Gold: Wealth and prosperity
Black: Wards off evil spirits
Red: Success in love and relationships
Green: Good health
Both of mine are gold, but I think before I return to the states, I should pick up all the others, right? I’ll line them up on the windowsill …
Fortune Cat figurines often holding other things in their paws. These include:
A koban worth one ryo: This is a Japanese coin from the Edo period; a ryo was considered to be quite the fortune back then.
The magic money mallet: If you see a small hammer, this represents wealth. When shaken, the mallet is supposed to attract wealth.
A fish, most likely a carp: The fish is symbolic of abundance and good fortune.
A marble or gem: This is another money magnet. Some people believe it’s a crystal ball and represents wisdom.
Lucky Cats can also be found holding gourds, prayer tablets, daikon radishes, and ingots. These items also represent wealth and good luck.
Regardless of the name, legend, raised paw, color, or item in its paw, you basically can’t go wrong with a Fortune Cat perched by your side. If you want me to bring some home to you, let me know!!