When making Chinese tea the traditional way, it's a common to first rinse the leaves before you make tea of it. The tea liquor resulting from this rinse is then used to preheat the teaware as well. Because it's a bit of a waste to discard the tea, tea masters love to pour the tea over a tea pet. Usually the creature is put on a tea tray/table that has a drain, so they don't make a mess.
Mostly tea mascots are just artifacts that add a little fun to your tea experience.
Pixiu is a Chinese mythical hybrid creature considered to be a very powerful protector to practitioners of Feng Shui. It resembles a winged lion. Pixiu is an earth and sea variation, particularly an influential and auspicious creature for wealth. It is said to have a voracious appetite towards only gold and silver. Therefore, traditionally to the Chinese, Pixiu has always been regarded as an auspicious creature that possessed mystical power capable of drawing wealth from all directions.