Back in late 1990s, I noticed a Asahi lucky cat downtown in the window of a Japanese restaurant on Samson Street. I had already started my lucky cat obsession by that point. I owned a few and had named my Web hosting operation Lucky Cat Systems.
So how does this fit into The Third Quarter blog, which is supposed to be about being middle aged? Good question. Hopefully here is a good answer.
Back in the late 1990s, I was in my early 30s, still young. The Grey Lodge was starting to get noticed in our niche, but that really didn't impress anyone outside of the smallish but growing Philadelphia craft beer community. Craft beer was still a niche ignored by the major wholesalers, whom represented Anheuser Busch, Coors, or Miller. The Grey Lodge was just another little account and nobody really cared much about making us happy.
I knew the Asashi lucky cat existed. It was a lucky cat holding a beer! I really, really wanted one, but I had no pull with the big wholesaler who distributed Asahi and probably never would. It was out of reach for a goofy nobody like me.
Asahi lucky cats didn't seem to ever appear on eBay, so I couldn't even buy one. Out of reach for a goofy nobody like me.
The 2nd picture shows the side of the box. "KEEP DRY". Good advice, cats hate getting wet.
Fast forward 10 or 11 years later to January 2009. The Grey Lodge's lucky cat, Wissinoming Winnie, has been a feature of our annual Ground Hog Day celebration for 7 years. The Philadelphia craft beer scene has grown exponentally. Through a series of consolidations, most of the local craft breweries are now with the big distributors. I somehow have become a minor figure in the local craft beer scene and The Grey Lodge is identified as a key account. (Now you'd think key accounts would be given nifty keys to wear around our necks. You'd be wrong. Yeah I was too. Hey I got the cat; I can live without the key).
Anyway back in January, I realized I now actually knew people at the Asahi distributor, who now also sold a bunch of the local micros, and they actually wanted to make me happy (being a key account and all), especially if it didn't cost anything. (It should be noted they definitely succeeded in making me happy).
I Google image searched "Asahi lucky cat" and emailed the image to my contact, asking if maybe they had one lying around. They didn't even recall having ever seen such a thing, but said they would look around. A week later they found one. I suspect it took a lot of digging It was probably under years of beer swag. Anywho it arrived this week and I noticed it waiting for me in the liquid closet last night. Within reach for a goofy sort of somebody like me.
As I get older I get less and less attached to possessions. However I am actually very happy to finally obtained this. Opening the box last night was like being a kid on Xmas day.
The moral for this blog is that sometimes getting older means sometimes getting to a place where you can make 11 year old fancies come to fruition. If you are lucky, you will still want what you can now obtain. I'm a lucky cat.