Well, I tried to keep another blog and just got bogged down- the Daily Kitteh ended up on Facebook, though, and I did post pictures for 50 days straight! Anyone wanting to watch Bug as he grows up can see him here...
Other then that, I thought I might have happy news to share with everyone. In fact, I won't downplay it- I have WONDERFUL news, tempered with sobering news, to share...
My gorgeous Cole baby- my curly coated boy- became a Grand Champion at the beginning of December at his FIRST weekend being shown as an adult cat in TICA. I am head-over-heels proud of him. He is my gorgeous, sweet tempered, lazy boy and I am always charmed by him...The sobering news is that his breeder, a wonderful, compassionate woman who does more for her cats then most people I know- had the need to bring in a couple of her cats to a cardiac clinic because they had heart murmurs. She was knowledgeable enough to realize that one heart murmur probably wasn't odd, but three in a cattery is impossibly high odds.
The news she received were devastating. All three of these cats have HCM. This breed is NOT KNOWN FOR HCM. Cole's sister, from his litter, has moderate HCM at 9 months of age.
This means I will have to neuter Cole. Although I was originally planning on neutering him, he has done wonderful in the show ring and I know that his genes in regard to conformation would be a benefit to the breed. HOWEVER, HCM genetics being what they are- I cannot risk passing those genes along.
What this means ever moreso though is that Cole might be carrying for HCM... He may be a ticking time bomb, my beautiful sweet soft kinky coated boy. We will have him scanned, but unfortunately, negative means nothing when it comes to HCM. A negative for HCM just means... until next year, hopefully, we are safe, but there are no guarantees. In six months, a negatively scanned cat can have full blown HCM and you may wake up to them suffering from partial paralysis or even dead.
This news has devastated me. It just breaks me to my core. I walked away from the Sphynx breed because Neala broke my heart and this particular phantom, HCM, haunted me with each litter of kittens born to my cattery. HCM IS found in the Sphynx breed and the incident of death is very very high. Unlike Maine Coons and Ragdolls, Sphynx breeders have yet to find any DNA markers that indicate HCM or anything that would make testing more effective. Like I said- you can test a cat year after year and get negative and at year five- have the cat have HCM. What about the litters it's produced to that point? HCM is hereditary. Even if you research the cats' background and purchase from the best breeder that has tested the past umpteen generations, you still never know. A fellow cat lover just had her THREE Sphynxes all diagnosed with varying degrees of HCM.
So where does this leave us? This leaves us loving our Selkirk Rex- no more-no less. But we will cherish him every day he is with us, whether he develops HCM or not. We will neuter him, I wish I could set aside this health issue, but I personally cannot. But we will love him- like each day is his last.
On another short note- last night, we had a Christmas rescue. We live in a highly populated city in the desert and it has been raining. Endlessly... For days... There is flooding, there is water everywhere... And last night, we came home from shopping and on the crisp cold night air, I could hear the tiny sound of kittens... Crying... Screaming... Cold and miserable and outdoors.
The desert is cold. People do not realize that, but wintertime is crisp and cold and with the rain, it becomes bitterly cold.
My husband pinpointed the sound as coming from the backyard of a neighbor's across the street that we did not know. I went and knocked on the door, but no one answered. I then went and knocked on the next-next door neighbor's and the poor senior citizen lady who answered probably thought I was nuts. I just wanted to know if they realized there were babies freezing next door and if they knew where the house owner was... Of course, she did not know about the kittens or know where the owner of the house was...
So my Hubby, bless his soul, took it upon his own to scan the backyard, locate the kittens with a flashlight and probably right before he was going to jump into this stranger's backyard, the older man returned home.
He claimed he had no clue there were kittens in his yard, BUT he had a Hav-a-hart trap set out, which is what contained the two screaming kittens. They were not sheltered from the environment and they were sopping wet. Hubby pulled them from the cage, was promptly bit for his kindness, and for now, they are in my garage with a space heater, food, and water. After they settle, we will regroup and figure out where to go from there.
So that is where we are as of today... This is what I ask of you this Christmas season... Love your critters and family members like each day is your last with them...