in the apartment complex I lived in knew who Ugly was. Ugly was the resident
tomcat. Ugly loved three things in this world: fighting, eating garbage,
and, shall we say, love.
combination of these things combined with a life spent outside had their
effect on Ugly. To start with, he had only one eye and where the other
should have been was a hole. He was also missing his ear on the same side,
his left foot appeared to have been badly broken at one time, and had healed
at an unnatural angle, making him look like he was always turning the corner.
would have been a dark gray tabby, striped type, except for the sores covering
his head, neck, and even his shoulders
time someone saw Ugly there was the same reaction. "That's one UGLY cat!!!"
the children were warned not to touch him, the adults threw rocks at him,
hosed him down, squirted him when he tried to come in their homes, or shut
his paws in the door when he would not leave. Ugly always had the same
you turned the hose on him, he would stand there, getting soaked until
you gave up and quit. If you threw things at him, he would curl his lanky
body around your feet in forgiveness.
he spied children, he would come running, meowing frantically and bump
his head against their hands, begging for their love.
you ever picked him up he would immediately begin suckling on your shirt,
earrings, whatever he could find.
day Ugly shared his love with the neighbor's dogs. They did not respond
kindly, and Ugly was badly mauled. I tried to rush to his aid. By the time
I got to where he was laying, it was apparent Ugly's sad life was almost
at an end.
I picked him up and tried to carry him home, I could hear him wheezing
and gasping, and could feel him struggling. It must be hurting him terribly,
I felt a familiar tugging, sucking sensation on my ear. Ugly, in so much
pain, suffering and obviously dying, was trying to suckle my ear. I pulled
him closer to me, and he bumped the palm of my hand with his head, then
he turned his one golden eye towards me, and I could hear the distinct
sound of purring.
in the greatest pain, that ugly battled scarred cat was asking only for
a little affection, perhaps some compassion.
that moment I thought Ugly was the most beautiful, loving creature I had
ever seen. Never once did he try to bite or scratch me, try to get away
from me, or struggle in any way. Ugly just looked up at me completely trusting
in me to relieve his pain.
died in my arms before I could get inside, but I sat and held him for a
long time afterwards, thinking about how one scarred, deformed little stray
could so alter my opinion about what it means to have true pureness of
love so totally and truly.
taught me more about giving and compassion than a thousand books, lectures,
or talk show specials ever could, and for that I will always be thankful.
He had been scarred on the outside, but I was scarred on the inside, and
it was time for me to move on and learn to love truly and deeply. To give
my total to those I cared for.
people want to be richer, more successful, well liked, beautiful, but for
will always try to be Ugly.