Adorable earless cat named Potato becomes an internet sensation after cancer diagnosis

An earless cat who was adopted by its foster parents is now living its best life following a cancer diagnosis.

The cat named Potato, at the age 14, had to undergo surgery after being diagnosed with external tumours on both ears, shortly after being adopted.

Carl Leong, 39, initially adopted Horlick in 2018, another cat who was a domestic shorthair. A year later Carl and his wife, Sarah adopted Potato after fostering him for a number of months.

Both cats had spent years living on the streets together, after their feeder passed away. They were later picked up by a local shelter in 2016.

Despite Potato’s poor health which has cost thousands to date, Carl and Sarah couldn’t resist adopting him after seeing the bond the two cats shared.

Carl said: “When we decided to adopt Potato in April 2019, we found a ceruminous adenoma, a kind of external ear tumour, had reoccurred in both of Potato’s ears – it was first found and treated in 2017.”

“The shelter asked us to take Potato home as foster parents so he could meet Horlick again and we could monitor his health condition closely.”

“Potato and Horlick were so happy to see each other again!”

“Sadly though, Potato’s tumours turned bad in the end of 2019 and the vet recommended removing his ear canals and ear flaps so the tumours would never return.”

“He completed a three-hour surgery and became the no-ear-meow Potato in Jan 2020. We officially adopted him after the surgery.”

Potato was also diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and pancreatitis. The diagnosis has meant that Carl and Sarah had to spend thousands on his road to recovery.

Carl said: “Potato’s pancreatitis treatment required five days of intensive hospital care and cost over HK$30,000 (£3,455).”

“The chronic kidney disease requires body check monitoring every three months and each time costs around HK$3,000 (£345).”

“In regard to the ear removal surgery, we needed around HK$30,000 after the clinic gave a huge discount to the shelter, but luckily the shelter successfully raised the funds to cover the cost.”

The couple regularly share content of Horlick and Potato on their social media, and they also promote adoption to encourage others to also follow.

Carl said: “We set up this Instagram account to share happiness.”

Potato and his brother have become an online sensation, with 20.5k followers on their Instagram accounts @no_ear_meow_potato .

“We also share some information about taking care of cats, especially those who are sick with ceruminous adenomas and chronic kidney disease. We also promote adoption.”

“We’re grateful to be followed and to receive so many likes. We hope we could make use of this to bring joy to people and to make positive changes.”

Despite being the no-ear-meow Potato, he is not deaf – contrary to what many social media users believe.

Carl added: “With no ears, it’s actually one less thing to worry about as there’s no need to clean them like what we have to do with Horlick.”

“The pair have no other differences and Potato can still hear!”

“He doesn’t particularly like wearing things, but the tailor made ‘fake ears’ were exceptionally cute and liked by so many people. He loves to cuddle up with Horlick.”

“Horlick meanwhile likes sleeping on the sofa and doesn’t like to play with toys. He’s very picky with food, which is quite uncommon for ginger cats.”