He Could Barely Move Because Of The Pain, Now Earless Cat Is Living Large

by Laura Caseley
Laura is a writer, illustrator, and artist living in New York City.

“Ear infection” is a pretty weird name for an animal, but that’s the name of a cat whose unusual appearance has been gaining him fans around the world.

His name is actually Otitis, which is the medical term for “ear infection.” The moniker was inspired by the senior cat’s own experiences — which he’ll never have again because these days, Otitis is an earless cat.

He didn’t start out life that way. When he was younger, he had the triangle ears that make a cat’s silhouette so recognizable. He was an ordinary house cat, but then severe and painful cysts developed in his ears. The pain was so excruciating that the cat could barely move and never played.

His human family loved him, but sadly, they couldn’t afford the operation that would make him better again. With heavy hearts, they relinquished him to the Feline Rescue Association of Baltimore. It was a painful decision to make, but one they knew would save their kitty’s life.

When the vets finally saw Otitis, they realized he was in very bad shape. Ultimately, they had to completely remove his ears.

Otitis has lost his triangle-eared silhouette and now boasts a very round head. What he’s lost in the ear department, he’s more than made up for in comfort and happiness. It’s amazing just how resilient cats can be. It must be where the “nine lives” idea comes from!

He’s deaf now, but he seems just fine with that, and with life with his new human, Molly Lichtenwalner, who loves caring for pets with special needs.

“When I came across Otitis, I knew he was the perfect cat for me,” Molly said. “He was an older, special-needs cat that I knew needed the home and love that I absolutely knew I could give him. I found out later that many people asked about him, but no one ever put in an application for him — I was the first.”

Check out how Otitis is doing today, and see that he’s adorable even without ears!

[H/T: Honest to Paws, The Dodo]

otitis the earless cat

Otitis used to be a cat like any other — that is to say, with ears. But painful cysts that rendered him nearly immobile ended those days.

He was relinquished by his heartbroken family to the Feline Rescue Association of Baltimore when they couldn’t afford his surgery.

They didn’t want to give him up, but they knew that doing it would ultimately be best for him.

otitis on the stairs

The rescue organization gave Otitis the operation he so desperately needed, but it came with the cost of his ears.

Today, his ears are totally gone, and he’s deaf. But compared to the pain that made it hurt too much to play or even move much, it was a blessing.

otitis and molly

Otitis was adopted by Molly Lichtenwalner, who has experience caring for special needs animals, especially since she grew up with a deaf dog.

Today, 10-year-old Otitis loves to play and snuggle like any other cat.

otitis and his round head

Without ears, it kind of looks like Otitis is annoyed, since he looks like a cat with his ears pulled back, a classic feline sign of annoyance. But he’s actually quite good natured.

“He has a very sassy but loving attitude,” Molly said. “He loves to play, but also loves to just snuggle up in bed and lie on your chest and purr all night long. He just absolutely adores people.”

otitis and molly

He also has incredible empathy, and is always able to sense when Molly might be going through a hard time.

“One night, I woke up from a nightmare and Otitis was sleeping on my pillow,” Molly remembered. “My heart was beating very fast and Otitis could tell I wasn’t myself. He crawled off the pillow and onto my chest and slept there until my heartbeat went back to normal, then went back to his pillow. He’s so perceptive to my feelings, it’s incredible.”

otitis takes a nap

“He is by far the best thing that ever happened to me,” Molly said.

And Otitis probably feels the same way about her.

otitis gets some chin scritches

From being in such pain that he could barely move, to being a playful and loving cat, Otitis is living the life every cat deserves.

otitis and his resemblance to a seal

He’s also found himself a doppelgänger.

otitis and molly snuggle

He’s both getting and giving lots of love and affection.

You can follow along on all his earless adventures on Instagram, and help other cats in need by donating to the Feline Rescue Association of Baltimore on their website.

SHARE this adorable, roundheaded cat with anyone who loves animals with high spirits despite all challenges!