A cat with a raised paw beckons from the doorway. The cat is ceramic; the traditional Japanese symbol of good luck, modeled after the famous and favored bobtailed cats of Japan.
From written records it seems certain that the domestic cat first arrived in Japan from China or Korea at least 1,000 years ago. The Japanese Bobtail breed has certainly existed in Japan for many centuries; it is featured in many ancient prints and paintings.
Any color except the Siamese pattern or Abyssinian-type agouti is permitted, the most popular being the mi-ke and those colors that can be used to create it (white, black, red, black and white, red and white, and tortoiseshell). Vividly contrasting colors and bold dramatic markings are preferred on the bi-colors. The bobbed tail is unique not only to the breed, but to each individual cat. It must be clearly visible and is composed of one or more curves, angles, or kinks.
Japanese Bobtails are strong and healthy cats. They usually have litters of three or four kittens that are extremely large for newborns. Compared to other breeds, they are active earlier, walk earlier, and start getting into trouble earlier. They are active, intelligent, talkative cats. Their soft voices are capable of nearly a whole scale of tones; some people say they sing. Since they adore human companionship, they almost always speak when spoken to.
They like to carry things in their mouths, and most enjoy a good game of fetch. Masters of the pounce, these cats love to ride on shoulders -- they are good travelers. They don’t panic at shows or strange hotel rooms, they adjust to dogs and other animals, and are especially good with children.