Inspired by the Cogdogblog to use cooliris as a presentation tool and by Muza-chan to explain the story of 'Manekineko", I searched Flickr for "Maneki neko" and created the wall below, with help from Cooliris for developers (not that I've ever imagined myself as a developer).
"Maneki neko" are often seen as you enter shops, businesses or even homes. The Japanese verb 'maneku' (招く・まねく) means to invite and that is what the cat is doing; inviting good luck or customers into the business or home. If the right paw is raised, the cat is inviting in luck, if the left paw is raised, then the cat is trying to draw money (customers) into the business. Each of the two types of cat has a different kanji character on its chest. One is the character for luck and the other for money. Have a look at the photos in the cooliris wall below and look for the difference (click on a picture and then the icon at the bottom of the wall, in the middle, to start the slideshow).
For the story behind the "maneki neko", read Old Japanese Stories - the real Maneki Neko.