November 5, 2011

THE CAT WHO WENT TO HEAVEN by Elizabeth Coatsworth

This book is really Buddhist and I don't really recommend it unless you want to learn about the culture of other religions. Here's the story: Once a very poor man (an artist) sent out his housekeeper to market to buy food with his last bit of money. The housekeeper came back with a cat instead. At first the man was furious. But when the housekeeper said that he needed company, the master thought about it and agreed. The very next day the priest came and told him that he was chosen to paint a picture of the Enlightened One's (Buddha)death(instead of being reincarnated. He was at the part when he was painting the animals that received his blessings. The cat was not a very respecftul animal to the Buddha. After every animal the artist painted, the cat looked at him as if to say "what about me?" Finally he was so downhearted that the master painted a cat in the picture. When he returned the painting to the priest, the priest looked at it with disapproval. He told him that he would burn it in the fire the next morning. But the next morning a miracle happened. Instead of the original place that the artist put the cat, with the rest of the animals, the cat appeared under the outstretched arm of the great Buddha.

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