I have just had the privilege of working in China with a group of VERY dedicated aviation safety folks. Although I missed my kitties (and missed social media – very few social media platforms are available while in Beijing) I had ample “replacement” kitties in the arts and crafts surrounding me.
There are, of course, the ancient kitties – guarding the entrances to the old pavilions. These Stone Lions (Shíshī) were guarding the entrance to the Zhenshan pavilion in Jingshan Park (just to the north of The Forbidden City). The male is in the foreground, the female in the distance. He has an embroidered ball under his paw (part of courtship), she has a cub under hers. Both of them are brave protectors. There is also a cub on her left thigh crying into her ear… I had to go get a closer look…
I’d never noticed little one’s on the shoulder like that before – did some research later and read that they are not always there (so maybe I’m not as un-observant as I was thinking I might be.)
The pavilion behind these guardians now houses a museum – of instruments – one of which was this cat… never figured out how to play it (couldn’t read the description and couldn’t find a translation) – but my imagination thinks that it must be a wailing yowling sound it produces (he he he). [special update – reader below found that it was a percussion instrument – link in their comment]
I had a lovely short walk in the surrounding park on the afternoon of my business meeting day with a new good friend. The peony gardens were a few weeks from blooming (they will be breathtaking) and the cherry trees and Magnolia trees were all just about to burst forth – spring truly on its way. That park has a little hill on it that lets you look right down on the Forbidden City – and is marked as THE center of Beijing (so of course I stood on the marker 🙂 )
Then there are kitties for good luck – this little cutie was in one of the tailor’s shops in the Silk Market and it was good luck for the proprietor as my host decided to purchase a suit there!
Being a curious kitty myself I had to look into his lineage… 1) White: Happiness, purity and positive things to come 2) Paws up: the left paw, this is supposed to attract customers. If the right paw is raised, this invites good fortune and money. (both can also mean protection) 3) Items in paws: this little one has so many… I just acknowledge he has his paws full for his people 4) Decorated Bib: I couldn’t find the meaning of his lovely spring blossoms – but it had to be good
Some neat information about the history of this Japanese & Chinese maneki-neko kitty here.
Then also in the same market where these friendly little denim kitties (begging to be taken home with me… but I had NO ROOM in my suitcase or my allowance for duty free).
And lastly there was this little sculpture in the Cordis Hotel (beautiful place to stay) that I saw every morning when I went down to consume the scrumptious and sumptuous breakfast buffet.
All in all – kitties to spare. But it is nice to be home to see my kitties again.