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In Japan, you’ll often find a statue of a cat with a single upraised paw in front of or inside places of business. Called a maneki neko, or “beckoning cat,” the manner in which it’s posed is the traditional way to call someone over to you in Japan, and the statues are said to help draw customers, and their money, into your shop or restaurant.

That’s not to say that anyone takes the superstition that seriously, though. It’s sort of a cuter, feline version of hanging a horseshoe on the wall for good luck. And besides, it’s not like we’ve ever seen a cat actually beckoning someone like that, anyway.

At least, we hadn’t until now.

Some of you might recall a video we looked at last month of nine cats frolicking over and about a grid of 20 cardboard boxes. In particular, a lot of you seemed to be taken with one little guy who appeared to be playing patty cake by all by himself.

▼ Just in case you need a quick reminder/instant smile

Catcake animated

“I’m not sure what is happening…but that is just too cute!” gushed one of you, and we agreed on both points. However, we’ve now solved this mystery, thanks to another video by the same YouTube user, the appropriately named 10 Cats, who as you might have guessed has 10 feline housemates.

10 Cats also owns a tiny moving maneki neko figurine. With so many real kitties in the house, you wouldn’t think anyone would notice a fake one, but one of the cats, Taro, seems to have taken a shining to it. As a matter of fact, he’s not satisfied just watching the maneki neko, he wants to be the maneki neko, and is going through a self-imposed training regimen to acquire the requisite skills.

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We’re not sure what’s cuter: Taro’s earnest attempts to mimic the figure’s movements, or the way he tries to act too cool to care when one of his fellow felines happens by.

▼ “’Sup dude. Oh, that? I dunno…just some dumb wanna-be cat made out of plastic.”

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”Geez, when is this guy gonna leave? I need to practice!”

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▼ “Come on, man, teach me some moves!”

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By the end of the video, Taro seems to have made a lot progress, and even if he hasn’t become an official maneki neko yet, should we ever happen to see him in-person, we think he’d do just fine in convincing us to come rushing right over.

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Source: Kotaro 269
Images: YouTube/10 Cats.