What's wrong with this picture? Look closer. Yes, Scruffy just has one ear (one ear pinna – the floppy part- anyway) . Why, you may ask, does Scruffy just have one ear? Why, because I surgically removed it, that's why.
A few weeks before, Scruffy's owner complained that the ear was stinky and painful and she was shaking ooky-gooky all over the house. We took a look and found that there was a nasty ear infection, with the canal full of pus. A good cleaning revealed that there was a lumpy mass growing from the back side of her ear canal.
I de-bulked the mass, taking it down to the level of the cartilage, and we sent off the tissue to the pathologist. It was reported back as a benign ceruminous adenoma. That would be a tumor of the wax glands that line the ear canal. Since it wasn't malignant, it was unlikely to spread to other parts of the body. However, if I didn't get it all, it would very likely grow back.
Scruffy did well for a few weeks, then got miserable again with the ooky-gooky mess in the ear. The mass was back, as big as ever. Because of the location of the mass, the only way to really get it all was to remove the ear canal cartilage it was attached to. Unfortunately, this encompassed both the pinna and the vertical portion of the ear canal.
Here's what we removed. It's not black and fuzzy because it was shaved and prepped with povidone iodine before surgery. As in the dog, the ear canal in the cat is an "L-shaped" affair. It starts out at the eardrum, just like a person's. At the point where you can see that hole on the side of a person's head, the cat ear canal turns 90 degrees upward, and you see the hole about an inch or so above where it makes the corner. Unless you're Scruffy: then the hole comes out on the side, just like a person's.
Now that Scruffy's hair has grown back, you don't even notice the hole on the side of her head. She doesn't seem to miss the ear pinna, and she sure doesn't miss the ear infection. Her owner doesn't miss the ooky-gooky all over the living room either.