RIP Baby Gray: The Cat with More Than an Infected Ear

Baby Gray was TNR’d through a shelter program at least a few years ago, maybe more. Baby Gray and his two other cat colony friends are bonded and fed twice a day by a kind feeder named Penny. They have feral shelters and companionship.

They hung out together all of the time.


This past March when I started bringing Penny cat food to help out I could see all three cats looked pretty scruffy. Baby Gray’s left ear looked infected.

I waited until May to try to start trapping because the long-haired cat has the most severe matting I’ve ever seen. Seriously, it looks like s/he’s shedding little balls of kittens off of her body, like a Gremlin. The fur needs to be completely shaved off, so I waited until the weather warmed up for that. The other tuxedo cat also has mats and is losing weight. I was hoping to trap all three at once, since there are never guarantees as to who is going to go in a trap first.


After two days this week of trying to trap, Baby Gray went in. The other two cats are still not trapped.

His ear now looked a lot worse. He was also drooling and had nasal discharge, so I thought perhaps he had a URI, and would need a dental.

I took Baby Gray straight to our vets at Elmhurst Animal Care Center. I don’t know what I’d do without them.


Baby Gray had to be sedated for the exam because he was feral and acting aggressively. His ear had severe discharge with a mass growing near the ear canal. But that wasn’t the main problem.


Along with severe periodontal disease with several missing teeth, he also had a necrotic mass with severe discharge under his tongue. This was cancerous – squamous cell carcinoma – and required immediate surgery to remove part of his jaw, which would only buy him a few more months to live, along with a steroid treatment. Baby Gray was dying already. Per the vet, he would die without treatment within a few weeks or months. He was euthanized while under sedation.


Baby Gray is no longer suffering, and Penny cared for him as best as she could during these past few years. She gave him as much love as he would accept, and he had feline friends outside. He also did not have to die alone on the street, and I am always thankful for that. I’d like to remember him as he looked this way – feral, free, and soulful.

I didn’t expect this outcome, but this year has been full of them so far.


I am fully committed to continuing cat colony management for cats after they are TNR’d. I will continue to try to trap Baby Gray’s other colony friends that also need vet care.


If you would like to help trap on the west side of Chicago, please contact me at [email protected] or call 773-609-CATS. If you’d like to donate to help more colony cats like Baby Gray, you can do so by clicking the PayPal button link at the top of this page. Thank you!

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