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In memory of Harold

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I lost Harold to Cardiomyopathy and heart failure almost 2 months ago, and my heart still aches every day for him. When he was diagnosed with HCM, I was told I'd be lucky to have him for 3 more months. That's the thing about cats - they hide their illnesses so well, that by the time they're diagnosed, sometimes its too late to do anything about it - though, believe me, I tried everything. By the end, he was taking 3 different heart medications, 3 times a day. It was getting hard to come up with creative ways to trick him into taking his pills...

Harold was an absolute angel. What a personality, and not afraid of anyone. He was always the first one to the door to greet anybody that showed up and then he demanded that they pick him up! He loved to play hide and seek. I would hide, and he would search for me and when he got close, I would jump out and yell "AARRGHHH!!" and he'd take off in the other room, only to come searching for me again a minute later. He loved to play with furry mice, and was always curled up in his little cave under the blanket.

He was my child, my alarm clock, my little snuggle monster, my best friend. He is the sphynx by which all my future sphynx's will be judged and he will always have my heart.

In loving memory:
Professor Harold P. Smoothbottom 12/16/02 - 3/21/09
 

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ElGatoLoco

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Judging by the pictures Harold was one of my favorites. He certainly looks like a little ball of cuteness/fun. He reminds me of an old wise man. Like the elder statesman of a group of sphynx's. RIP Harold.
 

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Hi Brooke, Im so sorry for your loss. I cant say I know how you feel because I could not fathom loosing my little Sphynx, my wife and I say we don"t know how we lived this long with out them! Im sure Harold is playing hide and seek up in sphynx heaven and watching over you down here on earth.
"gone, but never forgotten"
 

ilovemysphynx

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So sad Brooke, He sound's like he was A great pet. We lost one of our dog's last summer very sudden he started having seizures and when we where on vacation he left us:tinysmile_cry_t4: Our friends had A funeral for him in the back yard, (they are so good to us) So sad to have him go he was our first pet little Mickey the pomeranian. Kind of glad we where away, and the kids didn't have to see it.
 

kalliee129

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So sorry to hear about your loss. I lost my kitty Midnight this past december and can relate to the hole you feel in your heart once they are gone. To this day I still listen for his paws and meows in hopes that it was all just a bad dream and he was still here. I was lucky to find Meecho who every day fills that hole just a little more. I know one day you'll find that special little furry friend who will help you fill yours.
 
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Thank you, everybody, for your kind words. I lost my dog of 12 years, just 4 months before Harold passed, so it's been a tough year. Those of us who have lost pets know it hurts just as much as losing a family member. But, we can take comfort in knowing that they aren't sick anymore.

Luckily I have Walter now, who makes me laugh out loud every single day! He's been really good for the healing process. Its just impossible to be sad around that goofball!
 

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Brooke, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your wonderful cat Harold. I lost my prized show-champion Siamese boy cat PJ to a sinus tumor several years ago and I almost lost my Siamese girl Sydney this year to HCM, so I know the heartache you must be feeling. :tinysmile_cry_t4:

I know this is a cliche, but your grief will get easier to deal with as time passes. When the time is right, you'll find a new little buddy to share your home with Walter and your family.
 
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Thanks, Sydkat. I'm crossing my fingers for your girl Sydney. I know first hand how tough HCM is, but she can live with it for many more healthy years. It all depends on the cat!

Feel free to message me if you ever wanna chat about the HCM... what treatment is she on for it?
 

sydkat7

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Thanks, Sydkat. I'm crossing my fingers for your girl Sydney. I know first hand how tough HCM is, but she can live with it for many more healthy years. It all depends on the cat!

Feel free to message me if you ever wanna chat about the HCM... what treatment is she on for it?
Hi Brooke,

Thanks much for the support. :tinysmile_fatgrin_t Sydney is taking Benazepril, 5mg, everyday for the HCM. We are so happy that our vet caught it early so that she can be treated. I think the meds are helping her, because her health has been stable lately and she seems to be feeling better...as a matter of fact, she's sitting in my lap right now purring. If you'd like to see Syd, she's the pretty chocolate point sitting with Piglet in one of the photos in the Piglet album! :tinysmile_grin_t:
 
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Sydkat, I'm so happy to hear the vet caught Sydney's HCM early! Harold was diagnosed in the emergency room, and was immediately put on oxygen and very high doses of 3 different meds - his illness had already progressed so much that it was too late to slow it down.

The best news for Sydney is her early diagnosis and the fact that she's on a relatively low dose of medicine. I'm sure your vet has recommended a special diet? She's a gorgeous girl, and I have no doubt you've got lots of time left with her! Kisses to Sydney!
 

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Brooke, once again I am so sorry about Harold. As you very well know, HCM is oftentimes asymptomatic in cats, so it's often not diagnosed unless it's too late. Th reason why we were able to catch it in Sydney is because she was initially suffering from Feline Respiratory Illness, so the vet was able to find the heart problem while running some tests on her.

To answer your question, Sydney is not on any "special diet" per se, but I've always fed my cats super-premium cat food (Science Diet) so I guess my vet didn't see a need to change her diet. She eats the Science Diet Sensitive Stomach formula right now because it's easy for her to digest.

BTW, thanks for the complements about Sydney...she is a special cat and has been my true "soulmate" for the 13 years she's been with me!
 
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An interesting update for those of you who are familiar with my Harold saga:

I was posting some information about Harold on the sphynx rescue yahoo group this week, and a couple of people emailed me that actually knew Harold's breeder! Turns out she was a reputable breeder, who did scan her cats yearly for HCM. I'm told she quit the business because of personal reasons.

I was also told the names of two breeders that she got some of her lines from, and by looking at photos of those cats, its quite clear to me what line Harold's parents came from. It was so cool to look at the photos and see Harold's exact ears and eyes!

Of course, it doesn't really change anything, doesn't bring him back, but for whatever reason, it gives me a sense of peace to know that.

Now I have a question...he was registered, but I never got a copy of his pedigree. Do TICA or CFA keep those on file? Is there a way to get a copy?
 
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Turns out she was a reputable breeder, who did scan her cats yearly for HCM.
This should be even more reason for everyone to 1) be aware of the chances of HCM and 2) have your cats scanned no matter what. As I've said before, how are breeders to know their kittens are HCM positive if NO ONE SCREENS! The test runs between 45 and 90 dollars in most cases. It's worth it to know and to be able to care for the problem before it claims a life.

If you know which registry he was reg'd through, contact them with his paperwork/name. They will likely want payment, but you should be able to get a copy.
 

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The breeder gives you the pedigree which they receive from CFA or TICA after registering kittens. I don't think they will give you papers with out getting the breeder involved . Did you get a contract with Harold? If so you could try to use that and give them the information that the breeder is out of business. Or try to get in touch with the breeder if possible.
Good luck!
 
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The breeder gives you the pedigree which they receive from CFA or TICA after registering kittens. I don't think they will give you papers with out getting the breeder involved . Did you get a contract with Harold? If so you could try to use that and give them the information that the breeder is out of business. Or try to get in touch with the breeder if possible.
Good luck!
Oh, oops, I thought I had told the story on here of how I got Harold, I've told it so many times!! I got him from an ad on Craigslist...it wasn't until after he passed away that I figured out who his breeder was. I also discovered that the girl who sold him to me only had him for a month and had misled me about his condition and why she was getting rid of him. So, until very recently I didn't know anything about his family history. The only thing I knew was his registered name and his birthday.

I've been trying to track down some information, initially I will admit, out of anger. I wanted to blame somebody! Now I realize that it's nobody's fault, it wouldn't help anything.

It would be cool to see some of his baby photos, though! And it might be useful information for anyone who has his littermates to know that he was HCM positive, but I think that would require a private detective since the breeder is out of business.
 
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I didn't see the thread before...What a bad story...
:Cry:
I'm sorry for you Brooke...It is always very difficult to deal with desease like this...



Concerning the pedigree, i'm not very optimistic...perhaps you could ask to Tica or cfa to get a copy explaining the case ?

A HCM scan in france costs around 150 euros for annual control, and 180 euros if the animal has really a HCM.

45 USD seems very very cheap ! ???
 
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Wow, not here! In my area, echocardiograms are typically $300-500 per cat. What test are you referring to?
Echos, but even a EKG will work if sent to a cardiologist (in many cases). Have you called around for price quotes? You're being shafted at that price.

BTW, look at cat shows. There are some companies that send their technicians to do heart scans and the scans are taken back to the company, read by a cardio and you're forwarded the results.
 

kerrie78

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Scans in IL are $400+, it all depends on the area you live & the cost of living in that area.
 
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Scans in IL are $400+, it all depends on the area you live & the cost of living in that area.
Again, pushing cat shows. I don't see that $400 (even if done every other year) is that big of a cost in comparison to losing a valued member of the family. I know places that scan in Dallas and Houston for less than $200. I think they'd rank right up there with many places as far as "cost of living and area" that Illinois would.

Aside from that, ECGs are still an option.
 

kerrie78

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Well seeing that we are in a economic slump for most people it is a lot of money; example cost of living in IL is way more than most states... my cousin built a similar house in MS for literally 1/4 of the price than what it would cost here. People have family they take care of as well as other responsibilities, the IL payscale is a lot more that what dallas is at, as far as union scale the only states that come close are NV, CA & NY. But if all you have to support is yourself & pets it is hard to make a comparison seeing that children cost way more than anything!
 
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For anyone who's been following this thread...

By mentioning my story about Harold on the yahoo sphynx rescue group, I was actually contacted by Harold's breeder! She is an incredibly compassionate woman who actually lives just a few miles from me. She's no longer breeding sphynx's but still owns Harold's mother, Chanel, who happened to be her first sphynx cat.

She told me all about Harold's history, gave me the name of his sire (Degukats One Eyed Jack) and what breeder he was from, told me about Harold's littermates and what became of them. (After she learned through the group of Harold's passing, she contacted the person that purchased the other 2 kittens from his litter, and it turns out one of them also just passed in January from HCM. The other is HCM free and doing well.)

Like I've said before, none of the information changes anything, doesn't bring Harold back to me and doesn't mend my broken heart, but having some of the missing pieces to the puzzle somehow help with the healing process, somehow make me feel a little closer to him.
AND, best of all, she went through her computer and found some old baby pictures!! I got him when he was 6 years old and always wondered what he looked like as a kitten...

He's the little wrinkle monster on the right, the other one is his brother Rudy, who passed in January.:Sweet-angel: The next photo is their mother, Chanel, while she was pregnant with them.

Very cool!! :Kiss: I'm so glad I got to see these!!
 

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ElGatoLoco

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Harold was such a cool looking kitty. When I see his picture I think of an old wise man. I nominate Harold as sphynxlair's grandpa.
 

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Thats really cool you found that info Brooke, im glad for you!:ThumbsUp:
 
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