May The Four Ears Be With You
They say cats have nine lives, but this one has four
A genetic abnormality gave Yoda, of Downers Grove,
Ill., four ear flaps instead of two.
Ted and Valerie Rock first spied the little guy in
2006 at neighborhood bar on the South Side of Chicago
before a Bears game. He was the last of a litter of
eight put up for adoption by the bar's owner.
"The people in the bar, because it was coming
up on Halloween, were thinking it was a devil cat or
evil powers or something," said Mr. Rock.
But the Rocks, who had lost their cat of 20 years just
6 months prior, saw something special in the gray kitten
and decided to take him home.
Their "Star Wars"-loving son thought to name
the cat after the tiny Jedi master.
"I had named him Barfly," Rock said. "But
we kind of liked Yoda better, and Barfly lasted only
about a day."
The abnormality can cause hearing impairments, though
Rock said several veterinarians have given Yoda a clean
bill of health."He is perfectly normal, hears
well, energetic, cute little cat," Rock said. "Very
friendly, very social."
The only thing these retirees worry about is a possible
catnapping of their curious pet.
We always let the cats go outdoors, but this one was
so unusual we decided we didn’t want to do that," Rock
said. "So we had him chipped, and we keep him
There his four-eared force is used to entertain the
"They come over and he comes running to play with