If you’ve ever been in a Japanese store or restaurant, you may have seen a white ceramic figure of a cat with it raised paw waving. Although the exact origin of this lucky, waving cat isn’t known for sure, it appears based on a story about a monk and his cat.

Back in the 1400s, a poor monk lived in a hut and struggled to live on his meager income. Despite this, he had a cat he loved so much he even shared his meals with it. One day he asked the cat to bring good fortune.

A short time later several samurai arrived during a rain storm, explaining the cat waved them in from the road. The monk served them tea and shared his teachings. The samurais were so delighted and donated rice fields and crop lands to the temple, insuring its future prosperity.

So the lesson is clear. Cats can make you rich, which means all the money spent on food and litter are actually investments.

To read more about the Japanese lucky cat symbol, click here.