Some years ago I read a Japanese story, possibly a folk tale, about an artist and his cat. In the story the artist was doing a painting of Buddha's meeting with all the animals and the cat wanted to know why he wouldn't put her in the picture. The artist explained that when Buddha called all the animals the cat was the only one that didn't come. In the story the cat valiantly defended the painting against the mice and rats all night, night after night, and died of exhaustion the night after the painting was finished. In the morning the artist came down and found his beloved cat dead - and when he looked at the painting of the Buddha, there she was, sitting in his lap, ecstatic. I am trying to find a copy to give as a gift to a friend who has some wonderful kitties.