Today, I went to the Lakeshore Humane Society to sponsor a cat. It’s something we enjoy doing especially because we are in the animal business. The last cat we sponsored, Stubby, was adopted out earlier this month. YAY!
When I arrived, I spoke to Tina, a nice woman who was working at the front desk. After explaining why I was there, I asked Tina about the cats that needed to be sponsored. She thought for a moment and then said, “Sherbert.” I asked her why that particular cat came to mind and she said, “Well, he has cauliflower ear and always gets passed by because of the way his ears look. People think he’s mean and he’s not.” When she stopped speaking, I asked if I could meet Sherbert.
We then headed into one of the colony rooms and I met Sherbert. Although our introduction was brief, I noticed he was shy and pretty big! The shelter staff believes he is a Maine Coon mix. In addition to taking note of his size and timidity, I noticed his ears and agreed that they did make him look different compared to Sherbert’s brethren.
So, I thought maybe if I wrote a little bit about cauliflower ear and what it’s all about Sherbert’s chances of being adopted would be higher. Plus, his adoption fee is now only $47.50 since we sponsored him. Believe me, that’s a deal! To get cats up to speed on vaccinations and spayed or neutered you’ll pay over $300 in Manitowoc County.
So what is cauliflower ear and what causes it? Well, in humans, cauliflower ear is normally caused by head trauma which results in blood collecting between a person’s ear cartilage and skin. Over time, the cartilage begins to shrivel and fold over itself. The masses that then form take on the appearance of a head of cauliflower which is why this condition is referred to the way it is by many individuals outside of the medical profession.
Like us, animals can develop cauliflower ear. Ear mites are the common culprits behind the condition appearing in dogs and cats. Because ear mites cause an animal to scratch and/or bite their ears and shake their heads profusely, the animals can suffer head trauma that results in cauliflower ear.
While the development of cauliflower ear is usually permanently disfiguring, it does not affect an animal’s longevity or the quality of his/her life. Despite the look of his ears, Sherbert will still be a great pet for someone who’s willing to welcome him into his/her family.
I sincerely hope you will consider adopting Sherbert because he really is a great cat and would be a wonderful addition to any family. Please keep in mind that no person or animal is perfect. In the case of Sherbert, his “flaw” is simply more noticeable than most people’s or animals’ misgivings are. So please don’t judge him just because his ears look different than most cats’ ears do. Instead, I hope you fall in love with Sherbert because his appearance is unique and his personality is a match with yours.