Photograph feral cat copyright peachknee
There are some great photographs of damaged cat ears. I am fascinated with damaged cat ears - just joking, but there is a story behind this sort of fighting damage.
Feral cats and stray cats get into fights and their ears flaps are obviously an exposed piece of anatomy that is likely to suffer damage. This is why a defensive cat displays ears that are flat to the head (unless you are a Scottish Fold, whose ears are permanently flat due to a genetic defect).
Flattening them to the head makes them almost invisible. The cat in the picture above was badly injured when found by the photographer, who tried to feed the cat but on her/his return with food, the cat had gone. The cat looks almost serene and untroubled despite his injury (to his neck and cheek). He (he looks like a boy cat) must have gotten used to it all.
It is such a hard, brutal and short life for a feral cat. This boy was someone's companion once. His life span on the street is short (2-3 years). There is a growing movement towards controlling the cat population in the USA, but not by mass slaughter as is the case at present.
Photography is able to find aesthetic beauty in tragic situations. Even ugliness and pain can look beautiful in a fine photograph. Here's another cat with a damaged left ear:
Photo copyright tanakawho
Sometimes the damage done to the ear (once again the left ear) is deliberate and done by mankind to signify that the cat has been neutered (snipping the left eat flap). Here's an example of a New York feral cat being feed and who has been neutered:
Photo copyright by Michael Dietsch
Trap neuter and return is the best way to control cat population and it takes place by caring people but many many more are slaughtered.