This is a story about an ugly stray cat who taught a woman how to be beautiful, to love and be compassionate. Residents had named the cat Ugly. Everyone in the apartment complex knew him because he was the resident tomcat.
As he had spent his life outside it showed in his appearance. He had one eye and a hole were the other should have been. He was missing an ear on the same side. His left foot had been broken and healed in a misshapen manner. He had lost his tail leaving a small stub which he would constantly jerk and twitch. He had sores on his neck and head which had turned to yellow scabs. Everyone said that he was an ugly cat.
Children in the area were told not to touch him and their parents threw rocks or squirted water at him when he tried to come into their homes. When he was persecuted like this he stood his ground.
When Ugly saw children he would run up to them, rub against their legs and deliver a head butt asking for their love. If anyone ever picked him up he would begin suckling their shirt or ears, whatever he could find.
One day he was attacked by a neighbour’s Huskies. He was badly mauled and his screams could be heard in the adjacent apartment block. A woman tried to help him but by the time she got there he was lying on the ground badly injured, his life slipping away.
The woman said that, “[he] lay in a wet circle, his back legs and lower back twisted grossly out of shape, a gaping tear in the white strip of fur that ran down his front. 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. 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 distinctive sound of purring. Even in the greatest pain, that ugly battle-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, or even 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.”
Note: suckling on ears is a sign of early weaning. This guy had a tough start.
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