Aunt Vera owned a four-eared cat and some customers of The Pet Shop remember this cat. I know this because I found a Facebook page where memories are shared about Waukegan (Illinois) in the 1960’s and 1970’s. I hope to gain access to that group, as I might be able to learn more from the childhood experiences of others at my Aunt’s Pet Shop.

An artist my aunt employed at The Pet Shop was named Charles Cobb. He created the circus banner to highlight the cat named Alpha. Back in the days prior to the Internet it was easy to claim having the “World’s First Four-Eared Feline!” As I did some digging, I learned that the four-eared cat is a rare mutation. There was a study in 1957 regarding cats with four “ears.” These are actual pictures from Aunt Vera’s collection she gave me earlier this month.

1973 picture of the four-eared cat.
1973 picture of the four-eared feline.

According to Wikipedia, four ears on a cat is “a recessive mutation that produced four pinnae or ear flaps (the additional pinnae did not lead to additional ear canals and organs of hearing). In a group of four-eared cats studied in 1957, in addition to duplicated ears, the eyes were reduced in size, the jaw was slightly undershot and the cats were relatively inactive and lethargic. Researchers believed that the functioning of the brain was affected. Breeding data indicated it was most often lethal with kittens dying in utero. The majority of recently reported four-eared cats have been healthy with various ear configurations suggesting other genes were involved or developmental abnormalities rather than hereditary factors.”

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