If you have visited Japan and even if you haven't, you've probably seen images of a Maneki-neko (literally, "beckoning cat") statuette, a cat with one paw raised up in a welcoming gesture. Traditionally displayed in the front of shops to welcome good fortune and good luck, the cute Maneki-neko has become a favorite among collectors and can even be seen in antique shops throughout the world.

source: (C) g-squid

Since the Maneki-neko are so popular, perhaps it comes as no surprise that they have their own special day, and that happens to be today, September 29th!

The date was chosen because the words for "fortune coming" in Japanese 来る福 (kuru fuku) contain the sounds ku-fu-ku which spell out 9-2-9

What better way to celebrate Maneki-neko Day than getting your cat to put on their best beckoning pose? These Japanese Instagram users thought it was a good idea, so let's take a look at some of their efforts:

To begin with, @asawa_pan who graciously gave us permission to use her cat, Mugi-chan, for our title picture.

And here are others we think you'll enjoy as well:

That one was a bit of a stretch...

And this cat gets special mention for being a model Maneki-neko even without the beckoning paw.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.