Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Childhood Favorite: The Cat Who Went To Heaven

This is the story of a poor painter who's housekeeper brings home a cat instead of food.  While he did not initially like the cat, he eventually grew to like it and even named it "Good Fortune."  In a lucky change of luck, the monks at the local temple choose to commission him to paint a painting for them of they dying Buddha being surrounded by all of the animals coming to pay homage to him.  The painter is saddened that he can not include a cat in the painting, since the common believe is that cat's are cursed because their pride prevented them from bowing before Buddha and they are, therefore, not allowed into Nirvana.  How will the artist deal with this internal turmoil?  

This is a very short story, that was written in the 1930s.  I read it when I was in elementary school some 20 years ago, and yet I still remember he story so clearly.  The story not only stuck with me all these years but it still has the power to make me tear up a bit.  I think that this is a great story for any animal lover, and would happily recommend it to everyone.

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