Diary Entry: Sandra and Her Cat

20th February 2003, Thursday

On Monday, at work, I ran into the sales manager Sandra in the kitchen. She asked me: “Did you have a nice weekend?” I answered: “Very good, what about you?” Thus she told me her cat had passed away. It was only eight years old and on Sunday, she buried it. She was very sad.

When she returned to her room, I heard her telling the same thing to another colleague who greeted her.

Today, I ran into her again in the kitchen and asked her whether she kept another cat. She said: “Yes, this cat misses the other one. They are like a pair of sisters. Children around us loved to play with these two cats because they were so gentle and friendly. The cat that passed away used to follow the postman behind him every morning when it saw him. He loved the cat too. It would follow him as he makes his rounds in the area and stop when he reached the way out of the area because it knew it cannot go far”….. Their whole family buried it in the garden in an area where the sun shines on it. They all cried.

She had on a smile on her face and talked about her cat that had left this world in a peaceful yet nostalgic tone. I was astonished to discover that all of a sudden, I was very touched. Touched by the gentleness and friendliness of the cat. Touched by how much she misses it as she reminisces over the little details of the memories of the cat.

I said, “Sandra, that day when I heard you talking about your cat, a story came to my mind.” Sandra held a cup filled with water in her hand and stood there listening to me with interest. I said: “That is a story from Buddhism. One day, Buddha Sakyamuni was hurrying on a journey with two of his disciples. They were thirsty and it so happened, they passed by a piece of land where water melons had been planted planted. A girl was watching over the melons. Sakyamuni sent the disciple who was more handsome to go and ask for a watermelon. Even before he could get near to the girl, she had already chased him away. Thus, Sakyamuni sent the other disciple over. This time however, the girl was very friendly. She picked a very good melon and gave it to him. The two disciples were puzzled and asked Sakyamuni why did this happen. Sakyamuni then told them that in one of their past lives, one day, these two disciples were also hurrying on a journey. They saw a dead cat lying on the side of the road. The handsome disciple could not bear the smell emitting from the cat’s dead body and thus walked past holding his nose. The other disciple felt sorry for the cat whose dead body was discarded on the road side and thus buried it. And that girl was the cat in the previous life.”

At this time, Sandra appeared to be very happy and could not help saying: “Oh! Is this true? This is a very good story!”

“Therefore”, I said, “Don’t be too sad for the cat. A life has ended but another life will begin. It is such a good cat, therefore it’s life will not truly disappear…..”

Translated from: http://www.yuanming.net/articles/200302/17599.html

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