The poor little kitty that needed a home had three strikes against him.
He was black, and black cats are almost always the last to be adopted.
And, because of a rare genetic mutation, he had two extra ears.
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Strike two. Strike three.
Someone who owned several cats left the mutant feline at the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society in Pittsburgh in mid-July because they could no longer care for him.
His name, Batman, fit his bat-like ears.
“Just when you think you’ve seen it all, a four-eared cat comes in the door,” the shelter’s managing director Hala Nuemah, wrote last week on the facility’s Facebook page when Batman was finally healthy enough to be adopted.
He was sick when he arrived at the shelter with an upper respiratory infection that didn’t have anything to do with his extraneous ears.
“He’s a really cool cat, he’s really nice, really affectionate,” said the shelter’s veterinarian, Todd Blauvelt, according to WBNG in Binghamton, N.Y.
“He can hear just fine but he has two little extra ears tucked kinda behind his ear. Really kind of a weird thing I've never encountered that we had to do some research to kind of look it up and it's something we've found (in) a couple of other cats in the past couple decades.”
Batman’s extra ears didn’t affect his hearing, Blauvelt said.
Alas, no bat sonar.
When the shelter put Batman’s photo on its Facebook page, shelter executive Hala Nuemah wrote: “Batman would do well in a house with or without animals as he came from a house with several animals. He is a very friendly and love cheek rubs.”
A lot of people wanted him.
One woman in New Jersey even posted a photo of her own four-eared cat. Maybe they’re not as rare as the textbooks think?
In the end Batman found the perfect home with a little girl and her mother in Pennsylvania.
“They adopted Batman before all of the publicity around him happened,” senior marketing communications manager Caitlin Lasky told People magazine. “He caught the girl’s eye because she loves superheroes.”
Batman’s saga went viral, a story that Lasky hopes has happy endings for other animals also needing forever homes.
“We are so happy Batman’s story has now made its way around the world,” she told People. “When Batman’s owner could no longer care for him, we were able to take him in, cure his ailment and get him adopted into a loving home.
“His story highlights the importance and need for urban open-door shelters like the Western PA Humane Society.”