Fame finds 4-eared feline thanks to Internet photo

Sunday, August 24, 2008

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. -- The owners of Yoda -- a cat with four ears -- could use a couple extra hands to answer their telephones.

Ted and Valerie Rock said they've been inundated with television offers and media inquiries since their son posted a photo of their smoke-colored cat on a website. That turned the four-eared feline from a suburban animal oddity into an instant Internet celebrity.

The Rocks, from the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, have fielded calls from "Good Morning America," "Fox News" and "The Tyra Banks Show." The cat's photo has graced the London Guardian and a British tabloid. The Daily Mail said if Batman had a cat, it would be Yoda.

"It's amazing," Ted Rock said. "For the past few days, our phone has just been ringing off the hook."

Yoda's extra ears give him a hint of a devilish appearance. The Rocks said they found him in 2006 while watching a Chicago Bears game at a Blue Island bar.

Some in the bar were passing the then-8-week-old kitten around, making fun of his extra set of ears, mocking his appearance and calling him names such as "Devil Cat" and "Beelzebub."

It wasn't quite love at first sight, but the Rocks felt sorry for the cat and offered to adopt the kitten from the bar's owner, who kept the animal caged atop the bar for his customers' amusement.

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