Named after the disorder that cost him his ears, Otitis was once known as Branco. He suffered from a series of quite painful cysts in his ears and auditory canals. His owners at the time found out from their veterinarian that the condition wasn’t treatable and that he needed expensive surgery for removing his ears.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t afford the surgery, so he was surrendered to the Feline Rescue Association of Baltimore, MD. The staff raised enough money for the necessary surgery and the little earless white cat went to a foster home where he would be safe.
And, that’s when he debuted on a website featuring adoption listings. A 23-year-old college student named Molly Lichtenwalner, who absolutely loved cats, saw the listing and decided to adopt the special-needs cat. She and her parents once had a deaf sheepdog, so she thought that their home would be well-suited for the deaf white cat with no ears.
So, in March of 2016, Molly took him home and renamed him Otitis. She took him to his forever home with her and then he became a bonafide star of social media. Molly set up an Instagram account in his name and then he started to get a lot of followers, more than she ever expected. Molly posted plenty of pics of Otitis and everybody fell in love with him just like she had. Soon, he had 6,000 fans and climbing. Everybody just loved Otitis the cat! In fact, he had even been offered the opportunity to pose wearing a $6,000 crown!
Projections are that his followers will reach 10,000 or more fairly soon because he’s so popular. Now, the sad little white cat who had a painful ear disease and had to be given up by his owners for financial reasons is a big star! He doesn’t seem to even know that he was missing anything on either side of his pretty head because he’s just so happy to be loved and appreciated.
Not everybody can afford necessary treatment for their dog or cat, but we all need to try a little harder and keep our pets even when they have special needs. Not everyone can be as caring and conscientious as young Molly, but we can surely try to do our part. If you can’t adopt a special needs pet or any pet for that matter, then perhaps you could make a small donation to the SPCA or local shelter to help even one animal live a better life.
They can’t help themselves, but it falls to us as caring human beings to help them as much as we can. Don’t let them suffer alone. Maybe not every animal can become a big media star like Otitis and get the help they need based on their notoriety, but every one of them deserves a fighting chance at a safe life. Let’s all try to make this happen this year to the best of our ability. Let’s make 2017 the year that saw happier animals with healthier lives. Remember, every little bit helps, so whether you give of yourself and your time or just give a few dollars a month, you can make a difference.