The Buddha and the coughing cat

Right behind a wall of old bricks, under a Eucalyptus tree and surrounded by roses and lavender, sat the Buddha statue. He was put there to spread peace in the garden.

Now and then the family living there would place precious pebbles in front of him and weed away the Dandelion.

The Buddha was laughing and his round belly seemed to water abundance into the thriving garden.

One day the Buddha was interrupted in his perpetual meditation by a sound he did not recognize. It came from the corner of the garden, behind and apple tree and a fig tree.

 

– Who is that and what is your intention in this garden of peace?

 

Only silence at first. After a few minutes the green foliage behind the trees started to move and out came the most sorry-looking cat you could imagine.

He was orange, skinny and all wet. He was coughing like a heavy smoker.

 

– I am Christo the Cat.

 

– I see. What are you doing in my garden?

 

– I have been kicked out of my home. I don’t know where to go.

 

– That’s quite a cough you have there.

 

– I have been out in the rain for days and now I have a bad cold.

 

– So maybe you could explain this to me…I know many cats who are free, who live in the wild. They never get wet and they certainly never catch a cold.

 

– But if you’re out in the cold you get ill, right?

 

– Do the ducks get ill? The crows? The deer?

 

– Well I…I don’t know. It’s just that I’ve heard so many stories about cold and illness…and I…feel really ill and…

 

– Stories. Let’s talk about stories. What’s your story, Christo the Cat?

 

– Well…I was raised in a family that wasn’t good to me. They kicked me and forgot to feed me and now they have kicked me out.

 

– And before you lived with them?

 

– I only remember that I had a beautiful, sweet mother and two sisters.

 

– Loving mother. Warm, sweet. And then a temporary stay with a family that was not a match.

 

– I guess you could put it that way.

 

– Is it possible that you are now set free?

 

– Well…but…I don’t have a home.

 

– No? Were you not born wild? Born to make your loving mother proud? Do you not have the skills, strength and intelligence to live and thrive in the wild?

 

– I have no idea.

 

– Maybe this story is only just beginning? Maybe you are now free to remember who you really are?

 

Christo coughed again, but somehow the cough sounded less miserable and convincing than just five minutes ago.

 

– You know what? said the round-bellied Buddha. You are always welcome in my garden. I suggest you get some sleep under that fig tree. Then, when you are rested, you can think a little bit about your story. Maybe you don’t even know your story yet.

 

Christo the Cat did. He slept and slept.

 

And then he wrote a new story.

 

In the wild.

 

 

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