Lucky Cats

Today I received my last shot, the second booster for COVID.

In celebration, my sister and I decided to go to lunch afterwards. I was craving a Poke Bowl like the one I had in La Jolla when I visited San Diego last month. Searching google, I found a restaurant downtown with outdoor seating.

Walking a few blocks to our destination, the warm breeze brought happy feelings of summer around the corner, live music, and spending as much time as possible outside. During our first summer together, Scott got me hooked on live music from May to September. One summer we worked only part-time, less than twenty hours a week freeing up our time to attend as many summer concerts as possible. A jazz, blues, or classic rock cover band played for free almost every day of the week. In our bedroom tacked to the wall was a monthly calendar marking the bands and venues we wanted to check out. I will never forget that summer with Scott and the ones following. Music was a big deal in our lives.

Rounding the corner to downtown Santa Rosa, we found the Asian Restaurant. We were the only ones or first ones there for an early dinner at Miso Good Ramen.

Finding a comfortable table outside, I noticed right away Maneki Neko, the Japanese Lucky Cat.

There are many stories about the Legend of Maneki Neko.

My favorite one about Maneki Neko tells the story of an impoverished priest who cared for the Gotukuji Temple. In the face of his poverty, he shared his humble meals with his cat.

One day, a Samurai took shelter under one of the temple’s nearby trees.

Maneki Neko, the priest’s cat beckoned the Samurai over by waving a paw. As the Samurai approached the cat, a bolt of lightening struck the tree sending it crashing to the ground. The Samurai would have been killed if it had not been for the cat’s gesture calling him from the shelter of the tree.

Thankful for Maneki Neko, and appreciative of the cat’s interception, the Samurai who happened to be a very wealthy man rewarded the cat by funding the Buddhist Temple.

Today, many people visit Temple Gotukuji in Japan where Maneki Neko is buried.

Today, was a fortuitous day. I don’t take for granted getting my last COVID shot and feeling the world open up again.

Our early dinner was beautifully served and one of the best Japanese meals I have ever had.

It was extra special having Maneki Neko, the lucky cat for company.

Published by As the Road Wanders

Travel Blogger and Traveler

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