Decades ago, a young couple with three children struggled against a depressed economy. On top of caring for a family, they were kind-hearted to all four-legged animals. This couple quickly became known around town as ‘animal lovers’ for their St. Francis characteristics.
Unfortunately, they found copious sick and ugly animals dropped off inside their fenced-in yard. Unknown people would clandestinely leave unwanted animals that either would be too expensive to care for or they just got bored with them. These unknown individuals knew this special family wouldn’t look the other way.
Being the kind-hearted kind, this couple did their best to feed and care for all the abandoned animals; which consisted of some dogs, although it was mostly felines that were dropped off.
The couple was not rich, so very few of these animals were taken to the veterinarian to be checked out, much less vaccinated against diseases. They were cared for, adorned and well-fed within the couple’s financial means, although there was one exception, a cat named Love.
The Ugly Cat Named Love
Love was an abandoned female feline. She was very sickly looking with possible mange or a skin disorder along with being completely blind. Her fur was matted with calico colors as she tried her best to groom herself. She looked as if she was harboring contagious diseases and although she was taken care of by this couple, nobody wanted to touch her … lest pet her; except one of the couple’s children.
The youngest child felt sorry for this emaciated feline. The naive child’s heartstrings were being pulled every time Love meowed for someone to ‘be with.’ While all the other cats were being stroked and given attention, words were all that Love received.
Understandably, the feline visually appeared diseased so the child was warned by everyone to steer clear of her. Nevertheless, the young girl couldn’t let this go on, she had to do something. Love may have looked ugly to everyone else, but this young girl saw her as only being different, not ugly.
The 10-year-old girl wondered why ugly things were ignored in our world, why ugly people or animals are mocked and why diseases are considered ugly. She then pondered the definition of ugly, which means repulsive or unpleasant. She knew Love was neither repulsive or unpleasant … to her.
She learned at that young age that God doesn’t make people or animals ugly, He makes them different. It is the ugliness within people that see this difference as ugly.
The cat named Love had no control over her appearance or disability. She just wanted attention like all the other animals that were abandoned with this family. Even the other animals were cruel to this cat with an innate superiority reminiscent of a ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality.
The young girl made a mature decision. She chose to ignore the advice not to touch this sickly cat because of the possible diseases. She chose not to follow the others’ avoidance of this cat because of the ugly appearance. She chose to give the cat love.
The girl petted Love. She talked softly with comforting words to her and although raspy and broken, Love purred.
Love was the same as all the other animals, she just looked different. She wasn’t beautiful with soft, silky hair, nor was she a healthy ball of fur pouncing around in the southern grass. Love had to walk gingerly in a limited area, appearing to be fearful of her steps. However, she didn’t want pity, she just wanted to be loved.
Love wasn’t with this caring family long. The couple knew this cat needed medical attention and was probably suffering.
One day a big, white truck came and took Love away, along with most of the other abandoned animals. The youngest child knew this departure was for the best. She was relieved Love would finally get the medical help she so desperately needed. She hoped Love would eventually look like the other cats which would welcome the love and attention from humans. Maybe then people would not think she was ugly.
This young girl knew Love was beautiful in the true sense of the word, and that is why I named her Love.