Help me find this lucky cat!
April 20, 2007 11:03 AM   Subscribe

I saw this picture of a 'maneki neko' or lucky cat on an Ars Technica article last week, and now I really really want it. I'm posting on the off-chance that someone here has seen this thing for sale somewhere...

I've emailed the author of the article and she says it was a stock photo (but to let her know if I find it for sale because she thinks it's awesome too). I've done a bit of googling (including searching on the image name, blackcat_lucky.jpg) but had no luck so far. So, hive mind, I turn to you. Anyone seen this cat?
posted by corvine to Shopping (18 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: 3rd google result for : "lucky cat" for sale

posted by white light at 11:15 AM on April 20, 2007

shit, i think i need to finally pick up one of these. boy, that is cute - too bad i'm not a lady. do you know what the symbol on its stomach says, on the link above?
posted by phaedon at 11:18 AM on April 20, 2007

If there's a Chinatown or Chinese/Asian shops in your city, try there. I know here in Calgary, you pretty much trip over these things in the shops.
posted by hamfisted at 11:26 AM on April 20, 2007

corvine: Maneki nekos aren't that hard to find. Was there something specific about this one, or are you just looking for any black maneki neko?

My favorites are the ones with the mechanical waving paw and bobbing head.
posted by mendel at 11:28 AM on April 20, 2007

it says "luck"/"fortune" (IIRC)

'maneki' is japanese and it means 'beckoning', as that's what the cat is doing.
posted by joeblough at 11:28 AM on April 20, 2007

Response by poster: Damn, that was quick, white light. Thanks! I swear I googled! The only problem with that one is that they don't seem to ship to the UK, but that can be got round.

I'll do a little more hunting mysef, but if anyone could find one with UK shipping that would be awesome.
posted by corvine at 11:31 AM on April 20, 2007

Response by poster: mendel, I liked that particular one. The ones with the wide eyes freak me out a little.
posted by corvine at 11:32 AM on April 20, 2007

or are you just looking for any black maneki neko?

You may be interested to know that the different colors have different meanings. I'm not sure if your heart is set on black. Here's the wikipedia entry on them.
posted by amro at 11:32 AM on April 20, 2007

Corvine, I bought mine at the British Museum.
posted by olinerd at 11:38 AM on April 20, 2007

Response by poster: is it that one in particular, olinerd?
posted by corvine at 11:40 AM on April 20, 2007

The cookbook store next to Powell's Hawthorne street outlet, in SE Portland, Oregon. Looks exactly the same, same closed-smiley eyes. Feels like bone china or unpainted porcelain. Anyone live in Portland?
posted by media_itoku at 12:01 PM on April 20, 2007

Corvine -- the one I bought is green, but when I was there they had multiple colors (that all supposedly mean different things. Green is for academic success, and I was in college at the time, so ...) But it is about 2.5" tall and sits on my desk looking wicked cute.
posted by olinerd at 12:06 PM on April 20, 2007

Oh, wait, looking again -- mine has the paw raised on the other side. I do not know what this means. But perhaps mine is not actually an exact match!
posted by olinerd at 12:07 PM on April 20, 2007

Here's everything you ever wanted to know about Maneki-neko, and yes the paw has meaning too.

ee, totemo kirei desu ne ("pretty, isn't it!")
posted by ilsa at 2:02 PM on April 20, 2007

According to a teacher I had in high school who had a few of these in the classroom - you should never buy it for yourself as this brings you bad luck. She told me that they should always be received as gifts (but never asked for). A quick googling brought up nothing of the sort, and now I'm very eager to get one of these kittys that I've wanted for so long.

Has anyone else heard of that or was my teacher crazy?

Page with good info on what the colors / items being held / et cetera mean.
posted by Lizc at 4:28 PM on April 20, 2007

Corvine, Pearl River has some maneki neko figurines, but not the exact one you posted. But their stock changes so often that you might find it sometime, and they do deliver outside the US. Even if you don't find it, you will find plenty of other things at this NYC Chinatown institution, from tai chi shoes to a coconut erhu.
posted by billtron at 8:32 PM on April 20, 2007

they sell these at epcot in orland.
posted by visual mechanic at 9:29 PM on April 20, 2007

Chinatown or Japantown should have them alllll over...when I was in the Navy they were all over the place in Hawaii and Japan, every business had one or two. They are supposedly the inspiration for Hello Kitty as many people called them Hello Kitties instead of Lucky Cats.

posted by legotech at 2:00 AM on April 21, 2007

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