Beauty is only skin deep........... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-10-2009, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Beauty is only skin deep...........

Everyone in the apartment complex I lived in 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 gaping 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. His tail has long been lost, leaving only the smallest stub, which he would constantly jerk and twitch. Ugly would have been a dark gray tabby striped-type, except for the sores covering his head, neck, even his shoulders with thick, yellowing scabs.

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 shared his love with the neighbors 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 lying, 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 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 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, 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.

~Author MMR~
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post #2 of 14 Old 02-10-2009, 07:25 PM
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Wow, that was beautiful. I have to admit that I teared up just reading it. The author described it so vividly - I could picture Ugly in my own arms, using the last of his energy to... suckle (my masculinity rages against the notion of being suckled, but I use the word, regardless ) my ear.

There's probably a lot of Ugly in many of the things that most people don't want to look at...

Thanks for sharing this, Spyder. I'm sure I'll be thinking about it for a good while.
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post #3 of 14 Old 02-10-2009, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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I didn't quite know what to say other than to simply post it and let each reflect in their own way.
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post #4 of 14 Old 02-10-2009, 08:17 PM
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I am humbled by the dignity and forgiveness in that brave, shunned little animal.
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post #5 of 14 Old 02-10-2009, 09:34 PM
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I'm wiping away tears now hoping my husband doesn't see...very glad you posted that.

Stella - sweet, timid, elegant, lovely, lively, amazing
Luna - large, unattractive, naughty, adored
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post #6 of 14 Old 02-10-2009, 11:32 PM
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I'll admit it.. I'm sitting here bawling.

There's an Ugly at my barn. She's old and doesn't walk well. First time I saw her, I wanted to take her home and give her a bath. and some good food.
I must remember to bring a can of cat food out with me next time I go.

The lovely images above provided by CVLC Photography
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post #7 of 14 Old 02-11-2009, 05:57 AM
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Here's one holding tears too (I try to avoid crying because there are people too close to me.)

That was so touching story.

"On hyviä vuosia, kauniita muistoja, mutta kuitenkaan, en saata unohtaa,
Että koskaan en ole yksin, varjo seuraa onneain.
Vaikka myrsky hetkeksi tyyntyykin, varjo seuraa onneain.
Ja pian taas uusin hönkäyksin, varjo seuraa onneain.
Hei tuu mun luo, pieneksi hetkeksi. Puhutaan, varjoni, valkoiseksi enkeliksi."

Pelle Miljoona - Varjo seuraa onneain

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post #8 of 14 Old 02-11-2009, 06:12 AM
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I remember when I was a vet tech, they had brought these kittens in that were so bad off, they had matted mucus all around thier eyes and noses, they prolly had distemper and every other dang thing as well. I tried to say I would take them home and make them better, but the lady that brought them in claimed they were hers and she wanted them put to sleep. They had been found in the wall of her gas station, the mother had obviously been killed and unable to get to them and they had cried before the lady gotten tired of it and had someone find out what was making all that racket. I begged the vet to tell her we put the kittens to sleep, and I would take them home, but she wuddn't hear of it and I HAD to put these kittens to sleep. I picked up one, black, tiny little bony thing, cuddn't see cuz his face was so matted with dried mucus he could barely breathe, but the moment I picked him up, he started purring louder than I had ever heard a cat purr. I cried, I cried so hard I couldn't see as I pulled his little leg out and put the pink shot in. He never pulled back, he never resisted, he purred the whole time, even as the pink stuff entered his body, he purred, and as he slowly went quiet, I cried. I didn't put the others 3 to sleep, I handed the vet her empty syringe and went home. I told her I could no longer handle my job there, and went to work for another vet, a wonderful woman with a heart of gold, that I was much happier working for. (I never had to put an animal to sleep cuz it was unwanted there, she even volenteered for the local animal shelter.)

Your story reminded me of that kitten, and it made me cry, remembering both. I have known lovin, ugly cats. We had a cat with skin cancer, poor thing had NO ears, NO tail, and huge open sores everywhere, and her fur was always sticky and yucky, but she was so lovin, and pressed against you for love and I was one of the few that would take her out, and love on her, and let her rub her scabby, oozing head on me, and I would try and scratch her where she still had fur. Everyone else said she was so gross, the owner should put her down, but I liked her.

Thanx, Spyder.

Know thyself, know thy horse.
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post #9 of 14 Old 02-11-2009, 03:12 PM
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Wow, that was sobering. Thanks Spyder!!!

Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don't be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

1 Chronicles 28:20

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post #10 of 14 Old 02-12-2009, 11:24 AM
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a horrible way to start my day, crying. But a great story and a great thing for people to reflect on.
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