Beauty, a cat at Second Chance Humane Society, is beautiful. (Courtesy photo)

The nature of beauty is one of the most fascinating riddles of life, one that has captured the attention of the artist, the philosopher, the scientist and, well, who hasn’t been mesmerized by beauty? Although defined differently, the concept of beauty seems rather universal, but is it only enjoyed by the human species? Do pets like me appreciate beauty?

The attempt to define beauty is largely a human pursuit that has varied throughout time, various cultures and the vast different perceptions of the world. It is often distorted, misunderstood and shadowed by a wide amount of conflicting pressures. But if beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, wouldn’t any kind of eye be capable of beholding beauty?

I ask these questions because I see myself as a beautiful being despite my physical appearance not aligning with the human perception of beauty. My eyes are crossed, half of one of my ears is missing, half of my teeth are gone and I am just a scruffy looking disheveled middle-aged girl.

The other cats here don’t seem to notice or care about my appearance (and the Second Chance people think I am gorgeous), but will the “outside” humans? The wisest beings know beauty is about what is within. And my inner beauty is beginning to shine brighter every day as I learn to love and trust others. I am learning that love is what creates beauty.

After I was abandoned by my people, I decided that humans simply shouldn’t be trusted. I became so disheartened from being discarded that I just wanted to shrink away and be left alone, and I made this clear to all when I first arrived at the Second Chance shelter. But the staff and volunteers here would not give up on me. They have slowly and carefully reminded me that life is beautiful when there is love in it.

And what is more beautiful than a purring cat? And because my Second Chance people have helped me find my purr again, I now let them brush me. I also repay them by showing my trust and taking treats from their hands. I have learned to trust those hands will not hurt me.

I now know my staff won’t give up on me and they are preparing me for life outside of the shelter. They know I will eventually be adopted into the right home. I think their devotion is beautiful and am I finding the world a more beautiful place every day. I think I will soon be helping others to see this too. Go, beauty.

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops service San Miguel, Ouray and Montrose counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 970-626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat or other programs. View our shelter pets and services online at