Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Lucky Cat(s): The Gift of Good Luck in the New Year

Just after Christmas and right at the New Year there was a knock on our door. I was surprised when our mail carrier was standing at the door holding a box that she said I had to sign for. Imagine my excitement when I looked at the return address on the box and it was from my dear friend Rosa from Cat Lady Confidential and the package had come all the way from Portugal!!!

When I opened the packaging I gasped audibly when my eyes saw one of the prettiest gift boxes I had ever seen!

My apologies for covering up
one of the faces of the cats
I didn't realize I had done this
until it was too late!
Many of you instantly know who these cats are. For those who don't, they are what is called Maneki Neko, which is a popular Asian figurine of a Cat with a raised paw, known as Beckoning Cat, Lucky Cat or Money Cat, which is believed to be a lucky charm that brings good luck and prosperity. It is common to be displayed in shops, restaurants, other businesses and, more recently, in private homes.

The Lucky Cat is usually represented with a red collar around his neck with a bell and is holding a coin. The raised right paw is associated with good luck and wealth. 

I opened the box and tears filled my eyes.


Inside the box was a beautiful hand-written note from Rosa, two  most beautiful and special Lucky Cat mugs and two little toys for Cody. For those that weren't readers of this blog in 2011, I did a book review called  I am Tama, Lucky Cat   , in that review it is ironic that I had written: 

I Am Tama, Lucky Cat "is a timeless story of friendship, generosity and kindness", something we all can never have enough of in our daily life.
Which is EXACTLY what Rosa exhibited when she sent me this most unexpected and deeply loved gift. I was beside myself! When I contacted Rosa shrieking through email about my excitement, asking her "why on earth she did this?", she told me it was a "thank you" for a few surprises I had sent to her MONTHS ago that I had forgotten about, (but no way did she have to buy ME anything!!).

What Rosa didn't know when she sent this, was for the past few weeks I have been feeling uncharacteristically low, there are a number of things that I am concerned about, and frankly, it has been hard to muster much enthusiasm for blogging or anything else lately. (Dakota's blog is suffering the worst, I haven't updated his since the New Year). 

I had decided during late November and December that in 2016 my plan would be to blog MUCH less. I will return to my original schedule of blogging that I had put in place in 2009, (and too often deviated from),  blogging on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on this blog and Dakota's, (if there is a need to blog any of the other days, or if I have something I want to post I will, but I plan on NOT doing that regularly). I deeply need some balance back in my life, and I plan on UNPLUGGING much more this year than I have done in the past six years.

There are also some things that I want to work on that can be tied to the book review I did this past Monday, and if one of them happens, it will be a childhood dream that came to fruition.


Another thing that Rosa did not know when she sent me these Lucky Cat mugs that are too pretty to drink out of, and  that I will cherish forever, is that her gift was just the "sign" that I needed that I am on the right track. Each color of the Maneki Neko Lucky Cat figure has a specific meaning. The white Lucky Cat I received, represents good luck, happiness, positive energy, the black Lucky Cat represents good luck, happy marriage, protection from the evil.

It doesn't get any better than that, now does it?

Hmmm, if I win Powerball tonight I might just have to fly to Portugal and thank Rosa in person.


63 comments:

  1. Wow, what an amazing gift! And while I'm not just talking about the physical gifts, they really are beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Caren what a wonderful gift from your friend - those mugs are just the loveliest we have ever seen.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you!! I know! They mean the world to me! xoxoxo

      Delete
  3. How amazing and wonderful!

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

    ReplyDelete
  4. So pretty. Very nice gift.
    Sue B

    ReplyDelete
  5. That was so super sweet! Hey, get out one of those mugs and put this big HUG in it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww that was sooooooooo sweet!!!! Thank you!!! xoxo

      Delete
  6. Those mugs are wonderful. Wishing you luck, health and happiness in 2016 :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a special gift. Hoping 2016 will bring to you all you need and hope for dear friend. Big hugs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you!!!!!! Wishing the same for you!!! ((((hugs))))) back

      Delete
  8. What a wonderful way to start the New Year, Caren! Such a thoughtful gift! I can't imagine a cat owner who wouldn't treasure such a gift. Happy, Healthy new year to you and those you love!

    ReplyDelete
  9. what an absolutely lovely gift and so very well received. it is nice when a well timed gift hits a special part of one's heart and soul

    ReplyDelete
  10. Caren, in 2010 when I was laid off from my job of 10 years, my niece gave me a Maneki Neko as a birthday gift. I immediately set it up on the shelf at my front door. Before one month was gone, I had a new job! I know the luck brought in to our home helped out, so I'm wishing the same for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks so much my friend!!! Just put them up last night (not drinking out of them, they are way too pretty to do so), have them behind me in the dining room on our buffet...........paws crossed!! xoox

      Delete
  11. What a beautiful gift Caren. I hope that the changes you are making will help bring back that balance in your life. Thinking of you with many prayers and hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow, they are absolutely beautiful! I am so sorry you have been feeling low, wish I could help! I have thought about reducing the amount that I am blogging as well. My reason is, with the new store opening soon, i'm not sure I will be able to keep up the every day thing... we shall see!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you!! I have a feeling your store is going to be a HUGE success! Wish I lived by you to come in in person! I think blogging will be still vital, but in my opinion (and the opinion of MANY others who are successful), three days a week is PLENTY. Seven days a week is too much....don't care who it is or what the blog is about.......it's waaay too much xoxo

      Delete
  13. What a lovely gift indeed. You scored huge.

    Have a fabulous day my friend. Big hug to you and tons of scritches to Cody. ♥♥♥

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a purrfect gift and timing plus the Chinese New Year is coming up! Scaling back blogging is wise xoxox

    ReplyDelete
  15. You have real friends !
    That's a nice gift. I agree with you, the mugs are too pretty to drink out of.
    I also like the boxe.
    Douce soirée
    Nat à Chat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I do, I am truly blessed!!! I have them on display and am holding on to that box too! xoxo

      Delete
  16. Absolutely beautiful gift! Good luck in the Powerball tonight!

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a great gift! I love the mugs, I've never seen anything like that before. Happy new year!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Such a perfect gift from Rosa! We had a Maneki Neko in our house growing up, and they were everywhere I looked when I visited Japan. :)

    Glad you've resolved to take care of yourself, and regain some balance, Caren! We love you lots, and want you to be happy. So, good for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so cool! Thank you! None of you will notice too much of a difference...mostly pertaining to book reviews.........many of them are going bye-bye!!!!! They were my biggest time drain.....just omitting and/or reducing those will make a WORLD of difference! I had already started to cut back last year, but once again, if circumstances warrant, I would post more than 3 days a week, but not regularly! Love you too!! xoxo

      Delete
  19. I never reveal a blogging "schedule" so I do not have to feel bound by it. Those are great surprise gifts you go there. Those mugs are a delight!

    Greg, Scooby, Opie, Marigold, Zeke

    ReplyDelete
  20. What a wonderful surprise gift ! It's lovely ! We hope you find your balance with your new-old blogging schedule ! Purrs

    ReplyDelete
  21. What a wonderful surprise gift !!
    My mom-person wouldn´t drink from them either :)

    XOXO

    ReplyDelete
  22. They are beautiful! What a nice thing for Rosa to do.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Those mugs are beautiful. What a lovely and unexpected gift to receive.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Those mugs are so beautiful and original! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

    ReplyDelete
  25. What a beautiful gift! Surprise messages are always the best ones and mean the most. :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. What a nice way to begin the new year. Mom Paula probably wouldn't drink from those beautiful mugs either.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Love the mugs! A beautiful surprise to begin the new year and validate your feelings and decisions! Sending lots of love to you for the New Year!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you my furiend!!! I send lots of love right back to you!

      Delete
  28. That was an incredibly thoughtful gift. I am glad it made you feel better. I hope all your plans for 2016 work out for you and that you can find a happy balance in all you do.

    ReplyDelete
  29. What a special gift. And we applaud you for deciding to find some better balance in your life. The mom really needs to get some balance in her life as well. All the best to you in this new year.

    ReplyDelete
  30. How lovely! I hope you find the balance you are seeking and need. Balance is a tricky thing and if you have find the perfect solution, please let me know because I struggle with finding balance as well. LOL. Fingers and paws crossed for your childhood dream - hope it comes true!

    ReplyDelete
  31. The box and the mugs are beautiful.
    I hope you're able to find a balance between blogging & being unplugged that works for you.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Lovely art work!
    Happy new year to you and yours!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy New Year to you too! Long time no see! Nice to see you!

      Delete
  33. Those are so beautiful and the thoughts behind them even more so!
    Sometimes things happen 'just at the right time' and there is nothing we can do but stand by and wonder...this is fur sure one of them:))

    Meowmy says she wants to do a lot less of things online, too...so much else gets neglected...and she sometimes thinks all of our good furends get more time than hubby and kids and fur-kids, never mind the chores...Oops! Yes balance is a good thing!

    Take care and have a great year ahead, those mugs are watching all you do and making sure its all good:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't agree with you more, and I thank you for that supportive comment!!!!! I love how you said "those mugs are watching all you do" love it!!! Hoping you get to have more time for YOU and your family too!!!! xxoxoxo

      Delete
  34. Wow, what a special gift to receive, they are gorgeous, what a treasure! Purrs and good thoughts to you as you find your balance, may everything prosper for you, dear Caren.

    ReplyDelete
  35. What a profoundly beautiful gift! Thank you for sharing this with us, Caren. Wishing you all of the happiness and peace you so very much deserve! Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you and you are so welcome! Thank you for your kind wishes! (((hugs))) back!

      Delete
  36. Dear Caren,
    I'm so glad this little gift I sent you meant so much to you. I didn't know you were feeling a bit low, but I'm so happy this gift helped you feel better. I do hope these Lucky Cats bring you lots of luck and that 2016 brings all the happiness you deserve. And if you ever come to Portugal, you're most welcome at my house :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rosa!!!! Oh my to me it was NOT "little" at all....it is one of the most beautiful gifts I have EVER received. I know you didn't know....and that is what made it extra special and what made it a "sign" for me. It means the world to me. I am honored and blessed to have you as my friend.....you never know, you just might see me at your house in Portugal one day! xoxo

      Delete
  37. It seems that these cats showed up just at the right time, and we hope they are a sign that all is going to work out well for you in the new year.
    Sometimes the blog(s) can be so all consuming...but I think it sounds like you have a good plan in place to keep the balance.

    ReplyDelete
  38. What a truly wonderful gift. Wishing you the very best of luck for 2016.

    ReplyDelete
  39. It takes a special person to know the exact right moment to reach out with a special gift. It sounds like you got just what you needed. And good for you for recognizing your limits and taking time for yourself when you need it! Far too few people do that, these days.

    Jean from Welcome to the Menagerie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jean you are sooo right on BOTH accounts! Thank you so much for your supportive comment, that means a lot! Last year I felt as if I gave up waaaaay too many weekends due to reading books to review for both blogs...it was insane.......I felt so out of control at the end of the year. Don't want that to happen this year at all!

      Delete
  40. dood....pleez ta tell yur mom...

    7; 25; 18; 14; 40...and de powerz ball....12

    like due we noe math ore what !!!

    a happee healthee sooper grate new yeer two ewe, de dawg & yur mom & dad ♥♥♥

    ReplyDelete
  41. oh how warming and loving is a gift that is just right at the right time as well. I have had that once and it is always unforgettable and deeply appreciated on a number of levels. Your gifts are beautiful. Glad you have them and really loved getting them. xo

    ReplyDelete
  42. I've been a blogging failure these past few weeks - happy new year my friend!

    ReplyDelete

 
Designed By: Wacky Jacqui's Designs