With that iconic upraised paw, Japanese Maneki Neko figurines promise to bring people good fortune — as long as you can get one in the door. I decided to ask my cat, Stella, about bringing one of the cat statues home.

Stella the Cat.

Stella the Cat. Photography courtesy Michael Leverton.

Stella, I’m thinking of getting a Maneki Neko to put on the mantel. You know, for good luck.
What? I bring you good luck!

You do?
How else do you explain winning the lottery?

I’ve never won the lottery.
August of last year? Four million? You did that goofy dance in the parking lot?

That was four DOLLARS, Stella, on a scratcher.
No wonder we haven’t moved. You did that goofy dance for four bucks?

I think you’ve only brought me bad luck, Stella.
Well, how about all the murderers I’ve kept from killing you?

Murderers are trying to kill me?
All the time! What do you think I look at outside all day?

I don’t know. Birds?
Murderers! They’re everywhere — driving their cars, walking their dogs, throwing their Frisbees. If it wasn’t for me you’d be dead 10 times over.

I think you’re exaggerating.
I’ve foiled the postal carrier alone dozens of times. That’s good fortune right there, you still being alive at age 60.

I’m 35.
GET OUT. You need some good luck with the aging process.

I’ll focus my energies. I think you bring me the opposite of good luck, Stella.
Oh, come on. You’d probably be married to Janet if it wasn’t for me.

Please don’t bring up Janet.
NOBODY PUTS STELLA IN THE HALLWAY.

Again, pretty sure you only bring bad luck.
How about all the disasters I’ve saved you from? Remember the great earthquake in San Francisco?

That was in 1906. And we live in San Diego.
The great fire?

Chicago, 1871.
Isn’t your sister from Chicago? I probably saved her.

I don’t have a sister.
Surely I must have saved you from some calamity. You’ve never been in a plane crash, for example.

Come to think of it, you did make me miss more than a few flights.
See! You’re lucky no catsitters will work with us. Who knows what would’ve happened to you in — where were you trying to go again? Hawaii?

Yes. Sigh.
Anyway, I have proof I’m good luck. Remember when I vomited on the living room rug yesterday? You said, and I quote, “Must be my lucky day.”

I was being sarcastic.
Oh. Better not look at your pillow then. I had good luck all over it.

Stella!
Sarcasm doesn’t play well with apex predators.

Eleven-year-old Stella, a Bengal, has a firm grip on her handler, freelance writer Michael Leaverton, whom she rescued from an alt weekly many meals ago. They live in San Diego.

Editor’s note: This article appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Catster magazine delivered straight to you

Thumbnail: Photography ©athuristock | Getty Images.

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