Everyone in the apartment complex that I lived
in knew who Ugly was.
was the resident tomcat.
loved three things in this world . . . .
fighting, eating garbage,
shall we say . . . . love. The
combination of these things combined
a life spent outside had their effect on
To start with, he had only one eye, and where
the other should have
was a gaping hole. He was also
missing his ear on the same side.
left foot has appeared to have been badly broken
at one time, and
healed at an unnatural angle, making him look
like he was always
turning the corner. His tail has
long been lost, leaving only the smallest
which he would constantly jerk and twitch.
Ugly would have been
dark gray tabby striped type, except for the
sores covering his head,
and even his shoulders with thick, yellowing
Every time someone saw Ugly there was the same
"That's one UGLY cat!"
the children were warned not to touch him.
The adults threw rocks at
and hosed him down. They squirted
him when he tried to come in their
homes, or shut his paws in the door when he
would not leave. Ugly always
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 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
One day Ugly shared his love with the neighbor's
huskies. They did not
respond kindly and Ugly was badly mauled.
From my apartment I could hear
his screams, and 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. Ugly lay in a wet
circle, his back legs and lower back twisted
grossly out of shape, a gaping
in the white strip of fur that ran down his
As I picked him up and tried to carry him home I
could hear him wheezing
and gasping, and could feel him struggling.
I must be hurting him terribly
I thought. Then I felt a familiar
tugging, sucking sensation on my ear.
in so much pain, suffering and obviously dying,
was trying to suckle
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
At that moment I thought Ugly was the most
beautiful, loving creature I
ever seen. Never once did he try to
bite or scratch me, or even try
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.
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.
~ Author Unknown ~
Salem's Den © Salem
by Salem of