Remember how I said that a cat makes a better ‘man’s best friend’ than a dog? I just about flipped my lid when I saw this book:
I Am Tama, Lucky Cat is a prime example of our superiority, so I decided to review it for National Cat Day!
This beautiful book tells the Japanese legend of the beckoning cat. One day, deep in the mountains of Japan, a cat graces an old ruin of a temple with its presence and lets the monk and worshippers spend their days with it. This cat not only provides companionship for the people in the temple, but brings good luck and great fortune. Now that’s what I call a best friend! I’ve read it a couple of times--I hope the humans don’t find the copy I swiped; I do love a good book to read before bedtime. (It’s hidden under one of my cushions, so shhh—don’t tell!)
When I read this book I had never heard of the beckoning cat. So, naturally (being a cat and all), my curiosity was piqued. Here are some really interesting things I learned about the beckoning cat since reading the book:
- In its original Japanese, ‘beckoning cat’ is Maneki Neko.
- The sculpture is typically made of ceramic and designed to look like a calico
Japanese Bobtail cat
- Sometimes the sculptures are made to be used as piggy banks--neat!
- There are many beliefs about what each paw means when raised, but I have
found that most center around bringing fortune or protection.
-While it is believed that Maneki Neko first appeared between 1603 and 1867
in Japan, the earliest documented evidence is a newspaper article dated 1876.
-It is commonly believed the higher the raised paw, the greater the luck.
If you ask me, this cat Tama makes a great best friend for the monk and the worshippers in the story. Cats in general are clearly superior--even the cheese-eating one would make a better friend than a dog! The three of us should team up and show these humans what's what. I bet there's contact information for them somewhere in all these files.
Once I find the info I need, I think I'll email these fellow felines and see about forming a league of extraordinary cat companions. We'll call ourselves...(wait for it)...The Cuddly Killer Kibble Eaters! Or something like that.
Until next time, faithful readers! Happy Reading!