ACCORDING HIM EVERYONE IN HIS APARTMENT COMPLEX KNEW WHO UGLY WAS. UGLY, IT WAS SAID BY SOME, LOVED THREE THINGS IN THE WORLD, EATING, FORGIVENESS, AND LOVE.
Having had a hard life on the streets affected Ugly in a multitude of ways. He had lost an eye, having a gaping hole where one should be. He was also missing an ear on the same side he had lost the eye. His left foot had also been badly broken and not healed well, pointing off at an unnatural angle, as if he was always turning a corner. Where his tail once was, was a stump that was constantly moving.
Every time someone saw the battered cat, it was almost always the same reaction: "That's one 'Ugly' cat!!” Children were warned not to touch him. Worse still, some adults threw rocks or used a hose to chase him off. Ugly though, always had the same response. He refused to move until the cruel human gave up with throwing stones, or trying to hose him down.
If you threw things at him, he would even curl up at your feet showing you forgiveness. If you picked him up, he immediately began suckling on your shirt, or ears, whatever he could find.
From my apartment, I could hear his screams and I rushed to his aid. By the time I got there, he was lying there, obvious his poor life was coming to an end. I carried him home, afraid my touch was hurting him terribly. I could hear him gasping and struggling but then I felt a familiar sensation. Ugly was suckling on my ear. I pulled him closer to me and he bumped my hand with his head.
Then he turned his one golden eye toward me and I could hear the distinct sound of purring. At that moment, I thought Ugly was the most beautiful, loving creature I had ever seen. Ugly died in my arms before I could bring him inside but I sat there and held him for a long time afterward, thinking about how one scarred, deformed little stray could alter my opinion about what it means to have 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.