This story is about a poor painter, his housekeeper, and a cat. The cat joined the household when the housekeeper instead of spending the painterss last coins on food, she purchased a small tri-colored cat, a symbol of good fortune, in its stead.
The painter was not happy about his housekeepers decision which meant both of them would go hungry for some time but this was not an ordinary feline; this cat named Good Fortune- with her kindness and extraordinary good manners wins the painters affection.
Not long after the arrival of Good Fortune, the painter is chosen you have to read the story to learn how his name was chosen- and gets a contract to paint Buddha at his death and all the animals that came to pay their respects -except for the only animal the cat- that refused to honor Buddha and hence denied an afterlife.
Remember, this artist now owns a cat and this is the only animal that didn't listen to Buddha's teaching, which saddened the cat in the story. As the artist immerses himself in the life of Buddha through daily meditations and as he receives the final inspiration for the painting, the cat has been next to him all along, patiently absorbing the visions.
Good Fortune wishes to be included in the parade of animals but the artist knowing that cats ignored Buddha now must make a decision about the inclusion of a cats image on the silk. His decision may decide his fortune or his demise as an artist.
I wont say much for fear of spoiling the story but I can tell you that I was crying by the end of the story. I asked my 9yr. old how he felt about how the story ended and he said: Im glad Good Fortune found a loving owner who didnt mind sharing food with her and that the artist chose to follow his heart and that Buddha and the cat made peace.