No, I didn't forget about you. It's just that I had family all over me last week. This wasn't a bad thing as far as I was concerned, but the boy cat, Kaiju, was made apprehensive by the presence of human children. It occurred to me that he might never have interacted with or even seen a human child before -- they probably didn't have many in the feral cat colony -- and he seemed torn between his natural friendliness and a fear of these small, loud replicas of human beings that I think was also natural and very understandable. So he would approach a child with his tail held high (a sign of confidence and good cheer, as I explained to my nephew) and shove his face in the child's direction, only to back away when his overture provoked a friendly response.
My niece was particularly taken with my cats, and was fascinated by my application of medicated transdermal gel to the ears of the girl cat, Nineveh. I don't know why this medication must be applied to the bare skin, but so it is, and the only convenient skin on a cat is inside her ears. Nin isn't crazy about being medicated in this way, but for the most part accepts it with the same stoicism with which she accepted the sudden presence of children.
Anyway, this got me thinking about cat ears, a rich subject of contemplation:
The ear gel is but one of three medications prescribed to Nineveh by a fancy-pants cat dermatologist I had to wait two months to take her to see for her persistent itchiness. He grasped her firmly, pushed her fur this way and that, and pronounced that she had miliary dermatitis, currently of unknown etiology but still treatable with ear gel, tuna-flavored interferon, and antipruritic tablets. After three weeks of sneaking up on her with medicated lotion on one knuckle, I think she is still overgrooming, and she is still scratching under her chin, but I think she may be doing these things less. Of course, it's also possible I'm lying to myself. But it seems the thin patches of fur on her sides are getting less thin, fuzzing with new growth.
As for ear anatomy, Nineveh has modest lynx tipping, and Kaiju has none, even on his whole ear. His left ear is clipped, a memento of the feral colony, and for whatever reason his is no dainty tip but a jagged seam indicating the removal of a good centimeter of ear. Perhaps the person wielding the scissors was tired from a long day of fixing ferals, or perhaps she just wanted to make sure his TNR status was plainly visible. What such a genial marshmallow was doing in a feral colony is likewise a mystery; he was obviously treated kindly by humans as a young cat, and learned to trust them -- at least the adult ones -- but shit happens.