U is for Ugly Bat Boy
THIS is the story of Ugly Bat Boy, a cat who was news around the globe in 2009 after being labelled the ugliest cat in the world.
Ugly Bat Boy, Uggs for short, was born into a litter of four. Two of them looked very strange, mainly hairless with a bib of long fur. Veterinarian Dr Stephen Bassett took the boy and girl to live with him but Uggs' sister died at the age of four weeks.
Dr Bassett said he believed they were a genetic throwback.
Uggs lived happily with Dr Bassett at his home for eight years before he decided to take him to work with him at the Exeter Veterinary Hospital in New Hampshire, USA.
There staff and visitors took the good-natured cat to their hearts. Like cats the world over, he could usually be found stretched out on the windowsill or cuddling up to a warm computer. Visitors were worried there was something wrong with Uggs so staff had to put up signs to say he was perfectly well, just strange-looking.
Staff said he made up for his appearance with inner beauty and a pleasant personality. He was a very peaceful cat and sat so still that many people thought he wasn't real. When he did move, it made them jump!
Soon people were coming from near and far to meet Uggs and he became a media sensation. Pictures and videos of him were all over the internet and in newspapers and magazines. Uggs took all the attention in his stride.
He became so famous that Dr Bassett feared someone would try to steal him in the night, so he took him back to his house to sleep. But the media storm died down and Uggs returned to live at the clinic which has a tradition of keeping "hospital cats". His last companion was another cat called Reno.
He continued to live peacefully there until the end of 2012 when it was discovered he had a heart condition. He was being treated for cardiomyopathy and appeared to be doing well, still tucking into his favourite meal of roast beef. But the following January Dr Bassett arrived at work to find Uggs curled up dead in the office chair.
He believes he had suffered a fatal arrhythmia.
"You would never know he was sick. It obviously took him by surprise," said Dr Bassett. "To us he was just our hospital cat. We've all been pretty sad. He was truly a presence here."
Uggs was cremated and his ashes kept at the hospital along with the ashes of other cats who had lived at the hospital over the years.
Hospital technician Christie Hartnett cried when he died. "I just loved him," she said. "He was a great cat."
Ugly Bat Boy
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