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Everyone in apartment complex I lived in knew who ugly was. Ugly was the resident tomcat. Ugly loved three things in the world: fighting, eating rubbish and shall we say love. The combination of these things, combined with a life spent outside had an effect on Ugly. To start with he only had one eye where the other should be was a gaping hole. He was also missing an ear on the same side, his left foot has appeared to have been broken and healed in an odd position, making him look like he was always turning a corner. His tail was lost a long time ago leaving only a tiny stump, which he would constantly jerk and twitch. Ugly would have been a dark grey tabby striped-type, accept for the sores covering his head , neck and even his shoulders, with thick yellowing scabs.
Every time they saw ugly the cat, it was the same reaction: "THAT IS ONE UGLY CAT!!!"
All of the children were warned never to touch him, the adults often threw rocks at him, hosed him down when he wanted to come inside their houses, or even shut his paws in the doors when he wouldn't leave.
Ugly always had the same reaction too. If you turned the hose on him he would stand there getting soaked until you would quit. If you threw rocks at him he would curl his lanky body around you in forgiveness. Whenever he saw children he would come running frantically and bump his head up against them begging for their love. If you ever picked him up he would immediately start suckling on your coat, earrings, shirts whatever he could find. One day Ugly shared his love with the neighbour's huskies. They did not respond kindly to this, and Ugly was very badly mauled. From my apartment I could hear his dreadful screams and I rushed to his aid. By the time I got there he was laying, it was apparent that Ugly's sad life was at an end.
Ugly lay in a wet circle , his back legs twisted crossly out of shape, a gaping tear in the white strip of fur that was at his front. As I carried him back to my apartment I could hear him wheezing and gasping. I must be really hurting him oi thought. Then ii 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 glowing, golden eye towards me and I could hear him purring. Even in the greatest pain, that ugly, battle scarred cat was asking for only a little bit of affection, perhaps some compassion.
At that moment I thought Ugly was the most beautiful, loving creature I have ever met. Never once did he try to bite or scratch me, or struggle in any way. Ugly just looked up to me, trusting me that I would relieve his pain.
Ugly died in my arms before I could get inside it I held him for a long time afterwards, thinking about how one scarred, deformed little stray could so alter my opinion to have true spirit and compassion, to love so totally and truley. Ugly taught me more about giving and compassion than a thousand books, lecturers or talk shoe specials ever could, and for that II will always be thankful. He had been scarred on the outside, but I was scarred on the inside, and it was time forne to move on and learn to love truley and deeply. To give my total to those I care for most. Many people want to be richer, mor successful, well liked, beautiful but for me I will always try to be ugly.
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