I had set my DVR to tape that episode and must have watched a million times. After watching I actually tried to find someplace where Meecho could donate her blood, like the cat that was on the episode did. Surprisingly there was no place in the DC area.
I noticed the same thing about the HCM when I saw that episode on TV. Especially because my first sphynx, Harold, had it.
I'm happy to see that more and more breeders are beginning to screen their cats for it, but it's definitely something potential buyers should be aware of. I wish I knew a way to help raise awareness...
My 3 dogs and Baldwin all donate blood. Cats have 3 blood types, Baldwin is one of the most rare. He's one of 3 type B blood donors in Oklahoma. Pay to have your cat blood typed (type A is needed the most). While there might not be a BIG place to donate blood...most vets don't order in blood. They use it from staff animals that are on hand that can give FRESH blood. If you try hard enough, you can find a place that needs your help. We're listed with 4 emergency hospitals and 6 daytime vets in the OKC area. Work hard and you'll find a place. The good news is that Sphynx have a really good chance at being type B (which is rare...which means it's hard to find when someone needs it), which means your help can be the saving grace to someone whose cat has a rare blood type such as your own (if you're not lucky enough to get a type A cat).
Being in Veterinary Medicine, I've seen so many cases of HCM (and subsequently Saddle Thrombus) I swore I'd do my best to never have a cat that had it. When Baldwin turns two, we'll start annual HCM screening for him (even though he's neutered...you can't find out "early" if you never test for it!).
I had read your stories on Harold, I thought about piping up---but I thought better of it. HCM is rough, I'm so sorry to hear that you've lost a baby to it. I, like you, am especially glad that many breeders are screening. We've recently been searching for another sphynx, I'm very upset to say that many breeders are still charging 1200-1500 for kittens and NOT testing their breeders. This upsets me wildly. Many defend themselves saying the test isn't perfect or that they won't do it until their vet recommends it...but with so many babies leaving their catteries for other homes--wouldn't you want to send out a 100% HEALTHY baby? Even worse, most cats don't show signs of HCM until 3 years or older...so that 1 year health guarantee is a JOKE in many cases! I try hard to be nice about how breeders are doing it, but I see no reason not to spend every penny necessary to guarantee healthy breeders and babies (regardless of the cost!). I suppose until you actually watch what happens to a HCM cat (or a cat with ST) you will NEVER understand just how bad the problem is. I think if owners truly had a realization that they could wake up one morning and their seemingly healthy cat could be laying in bed with them...having passed in the middle of the night with no signs of outward problem at the age of 3...they might overlook owners that don't test. :sigh: Until then, Brooke, it's you and I on a campaign to learn the unlearned.