Previous published as an Amazon 5* review and titled "Purrfect present for a cat lover."
This book works on several levels. On one level it's a well-told tale about a human and a cat and is, to use a well-worn cliche, a heart-warming story. But it's more than that. Woven into the narrative is sound advice on how to live with and treat a cat. It's a guide to understanding feline nature. It's also a plea to treat animals with the respect they deserve. It is also a quite harrowing story about a woman who not only has to care for her severely long-term ill husband, a difficult, almost feral, cat and her own personal problems and the illness she develops towards the end of the book which is all so cumulatively bad that I am in awe of the author's ability to cope. It also explains the meaning of the second subtitle.
As for the first, don't believe it. If Tilly was the ugliest cat in the shelter then they must have had some of the world's most beautiful cats there. Admittedly I'm rather fond of torties and called a seriously de-furred one (due to a flea allergy and a neighbour's comment that she was ugliest cat she'd ever seen) I adopted, Bonnie. But Tilly is beautiful by any standards just as her owner is a beautiful human being.