Ned was a handsome cat that we adopted 3 years ago. He was the friendliest cat we had been lucky enough to have as a member of the family. Although diagnosed with severe HCM before the age of 3 he was apparently unaware of this as he remained asymptomatic until close to his death at 4 year old. His best friend was our 90 pound boxer, Stewie. They both patroled the house together and when Stewie headed outside, Ned watched from the windowsill, observing his every move. Ned slept with us each night and woke us at precisely 6:15 in case we had forgotten this is his breakfast time. He spent the afternoon nap time ``protecting`` our 4 year old son who was very attached to him. Our family was devastated when it came time for Ned to cross the Rainbow Bridge. but our lives were better for having shared the short time with him.
Carmine just had his 4th birthday when just a month later he passed away from a massive clot. After losing function to his hind legs, his dad and I had to make the heartbreaking decision to let him go. Unfortunately, we weren't at all educated about HCM and looking back at the breeder's contract, we do not believe they ever tested the parents. As a kitten, Carmine did have a slight heart murmur but this went away within a year and we thought nothing of it. He never presented any outright signs other than a very sensitive stomach. He was active, playful, and a downright clown. He was daddy's video game buddy and never failed to curl up inside dad's hoodie whenever he played. Carmine was also very talkative. Affectionately, we referred to his meows as his war cries. He'd call out prior to leaping, jumping or running, almost like the meow gave him an extra push. :) Although he was only with us a short amount of time, he convinced at least 2 people that didn't like cats, that they were actually quite awesome (no small feat!). We couldn't imagine not having a sphynx in our lives regardless of the prevalence of HCM. Carmine, we can't wait to see you again someday for more cuddles. We all miss you terribly.
Blue Velvet (BV) was never scanned for HCM as a youngster but upon adoption at 6 years old and 7 months, his first HCM scan seemed normal. BV was very timid and calm and seemlingly very healthy. About 6 months later, BV started showing signs of what looked like a respiratory issue and only 2 weeks later he was found laying dead in his litter box. It was a vision that will not seem to get out of my head. We had so many questions of why and how could this be! His necrospy revealed that HCM had aggressively taken his life in a very quick and evil way.
This is Donnie he lived to be 4 years old. He always had upper respiratory issues but never showed cardiac signs and yes I was not educated about HCM so I never thought to check his heart. However, a year ago I noticed he was loosing weight, did blood work and finally the X-ray showed enlarged heart. I did an echocardiogram on him and he had progressed into CHF. After finding it out he was put on many meds and I was chasing him down to eat and drink. He lost his battle to a saddle thrombus in the very end.
This is the story of Ghandi.
For my 21 birthday I rescued Ghandi from a Grimm life in a cage. He was filthy dirty with infected paws after being declawed when we first met. He snuggled up in my arms and head butted me it seemed he knew that I was there to help. After a bath and some tlc he won over everyone in my house. We all fought about whose bed he would sleep in. Six months later I found him cold on the floor and rushed him to the emergency vet in our area. His intestines had become twisted and required immediate surgery. He recovered well but after the surgery we were informed he had a severe heart murmur. We spent the next two years together symptom free and completely in love with this little guy. He came down with what we thought was a respiratory infection this past July but was I fact CHF. We drove 2 hours to a cardiologist who diagnosed him with late stage HCM. We battled the disease giving 5 medications every 12 hours for the last 5 months. On December 1st things changed, he became withdrawn and stared at me with those big green eyes. He was done fighting and although I wasn't ready to let him go I helped him cross the rainbow bridge. The amount of love that I have for this little guy is endless, now I realize that we both rescued each other. I love you and il miss you always.