The Cat Who Went to Heaven
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In ancient Japan, a struggling artist is angered when his housekeeper brings home a tiny white cat he can barely afford to feed. But when the village's head priest commissions a painting of the Buddha for a healthy sum, the artist softens toward the animal he believes has brought him luck.
According to legend, the proud and haughty cat was denied the Buddha's blessing for refusing to accept his teachings and pay him homage. So when the artist, moved by compassion for his pet, includes the cat in his painting, the priest rejects the work and decrees that it must be destroyed. It seems the artist's life is ruined as well -- until he is rewarded for his act of love by a Buddhist miracle.
This timeless fable has been a classic since its first publication in 1930, and this beautifully reillustrated edition brings the magic and wonder of the tale to a new generation of readers.
some discussion as to the artist, so we put slips of paper, each marked with a name, before the central image in the great hall, and in the morning all the slips had blown away but yours. So we knew Buddha’s will in the matter. Hearing something of your circumstances, I have brought a first payment with me so that you may relieve your mind of worry while at your work. Only a clear pool has beautiful reflections. If the work is successful, as we hope, your fortune is made, for what the temple
giving up all the beautiful world of his youth, that next morning he was very, very tired. But when he heard the housekeeper polishing and rubbing and sweeping and scrubbing again, he, too, rose and dressed in his poor best and sat beside Good Fortune, praying before the image of the Buddha. Then he went to the room that overlooked the hydrangea bushes and the sparrows and again he sat on his mat. Again he imagined that he was Siddhartha. But now he imagined that for years he had wandered on
success. The next day the artist again clo$$$ alone in the room overlooking the hydrangea bushes. Sitting on his mat, he decided that above the white horse’s head a swan should be flying. He thought of the beauty of swans and the great beating of their wings, and of how they follow their kings on mighty flights along the roads of the air. He thought of how lightly they float in water like white lotuses. Then he remembered a story from the boyhood of Prince Siddhartha, who was one day to
the sound of the wind. He returned to his study by the hydrangeas and was about to think once more, when the housekeeper appeared at the door and bowed deeply. “My master will weary himself into a fever,” she said, politely but obstinately. “You have been Buddha and gods and horses, and that elephant curiosity, and snails and swans and—goodness only knows what else, all in a few days! It is more than flesh can bear! Your honored forehead looks like a scrubbing board and your eyes like candles.
artist was a little annoyed with Good Fortune, for, hardly knowing it himself, he had come to count on her praise. Yet it may have been pure chance that made him reflect next on dogs. He thought of them as puppies, balls of down playing in the snow, with round black eyes and moist black muzzles. He thought of them as grown up, following their masters with lean strides or guarding lonely farms. He almost felt their warm tongues licking his hand, or saw them prance and roll to catch his eye. “How