Oh, purple, I *so* feel your worry! I have three cats, and they seem to pick up a new disease in turn, so that one of them is always sick and/or needs special care. I love them so much that I too can stay up all night checking if they are ok. I am sure the vet will give you all the advice you need. Sometimes I guess they don't realise that what is everyday routine for them vets cannot be so straightforward for us owners. Especially if you deal with ears, which look so fragile in cats. I had to cure a bug out of the ears of Yomo, the white cat in my avatar, for about two monts, putting this red oily thingo in his ears twice a day. He used to moan thru every treatment. More that not standing the pain, cats are really very delicate when it comes to handling the. They just don't like to be touched too long. So maybe apart from the pain it's also plain manipulation that makes your kitty "protest".This is really rough. Here it is almost 6 am, and I have gotten a total of about 2 broken up hours of sleep. My poor little cat won't keep the collar thing on, she growls and it seems to hurt her once I try to put it on. So here I am sitting here watching her to make sure she doesn't pick at her hurt ear. What is really ironic about this is that I have developed an ear ache myself. I am so tired. Today, I have to ask the vet what alternatives are there to the cone, hopefully she could tolerate the soft e collar.
By the way, I love reading another blog, called Fourfour, and the owner of the blog has a really special cat, called Winston. Some time ago he head a problem with his eye (the cat) and he also had to wear a collar. Later on, during the healing process, the elizabethan collar was replaced by a soft one that looked like this. http://fourfour.typepad.com/fourfour/2006/01/how_do_we_like_.html#more
Maybe this could help your kitty to feel less discomfort?
Please come back and update us on the kitty's health!