I've been getting a little impatient about trying not to reveal my tattoo until it's completely healed, but I just couldn't contain myself any longer. Here's my new thigh piece! I think it''l be healed in another week; it's just a still a little bit ashy right now!
That's my cat, Bones, in the form of a Japanese lucky cat done by the wonderful Rick Ilcken. The folktale behind the maneki-neko is that a woman invited her sword-hunter friend to her house, who scared her cat causing it to start clawing at the woman. Thinking that the cat was trying to attack her, the hunter cuts the cat's head off. Obviously this lady is really upset that someone killed her cat; the hunter feels so guilty that he goes to a wood carver and has him make a statue of the cat. After giving the woman the statue, she's overjoyed and goes happily goes about her life again. The end. So I thought, what better way to have a maneki-neko made of Bones than one that will permanently be on my person? She truly is one of my best friends and I couldn't have asked for a cooler cat in need of a home to follow me inside my house one day.
I gave Rick a lot of artistic freedom with this piece. His specialty is Japanese and traditional styled work, so this was right up his alley. Whenever I went to my consultation all I knew was that I wanted cherry blossoms and the coin to say best friend in Japanese. Basically everything else was his idea. I love the pink and green bits of color on the cat; I think the black would have been a bit much without it. And I can't forget to mention that Rick made this painful time as pleasant as possible with his wonderful personality and great sense of humor. I would love to be tattooed by him again in the future!
And here's a picture of the real Bones!