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Ugly

Written by Unknown

Everyone in the neighborhood knew who Ugly was. Ugly was the resident tomcat.
Ugly loved three things in this world:
fighting...
eating garbage...
and, shall we say,
love.

The 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.

Ugly would have been a dark gray type, except for the sores covering his head, neck,
and even his shoulders. Every time someone saw Ugly there was the same reaction.

“That’s one UGLY cat!”

All 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 reaction. If 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. Whenever he spied children, he would come
running, meowing frantically and bump his head against their hands, begging for their love.
If you ever picked him up he would immediately begin suckling on your shirt, earrings,
whatever he could find.

One day Ugly tried to share his love with the neighborhood 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.

As 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 thought. Then 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.

Even in the greatest pain, that ugly battled scarred cat was asking only for a little affection,
perhaps some compassion. At 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.

Ugly 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 spirit, to love so totally and truly.
Ugly 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.

Many people want to be richer,
more successful...
well liked...
beautiful...
but for me…

I will always try to be Ugly.

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