Bachelor of the Week SPECIAL: Morgan & HCM

Dear Everyone,

Today I’m doing a special bachelor post. Why is it special? Because it’s going to be a bit longer than the usual. This kitty’s condition needs a little bit more explaining, and so I was in contact with veterinarian Dr. Laura Collins, the DVM at Tabby’s Place in New Jersey, to discuss what is needed if someone were going to consider adopting this lovely feline.

morganbachelor

World, meet Morgan. Morgan is thirteen years old and has  hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), the most common acquired heart disease in cats. It’s fairly rare in dogs, and is often seen in American shorthair varieties of cats. HCM is a thickening of the left ventricle of the heart which can cause a backup of the blood flow, ultimately leading to congestive heart failure. HCM is irreversible and there is no cure.

In Morgan’s case, the HCM lead to him developing a blood clot, one of the complications of the disease. Known as FATE (feline aortic thromboembolism), the clot can cut off the blood supply to the legs, paralyzing the cat and even leading to the death of those limbs due to a lack of blood. For Morgan, the episode of FATE didn’t seem to be too painful and also, luckily, did not cut off the blood supply completely. He managed to heal and has regained some of the use of his back legs and is walking well, according to Dr. Collins.

Contemplating his life and enjoying every moment with his soft blankey

Contemplating his life and enjoying every moment with his soft blankey

Unfortunately, Morgan’s heart disease is fairly advanced, and his caretakers at Tabby’s Place don’t expect him to have a very long lifespan because of it.

So, why would you want to adopt Morgan?

Because, according to Dr. Collins, “Morgan has quickly become a favorite at [Tabby's Place] because he is a charming gentleman, with great manners and is never grumpy.  He seems to really appreciate the second chance at life that he’s been given.  I don’t know of a sweeter, more agreeable cat.  It makes us sad to think we’ll lose him one day, but we’re blessed to be able to care for him while he’s with us.”

Friendly and never grumpy, Morgan is ready to love you.

Friendly and never grumpy, Morgan is ready to love you.

Anyone adopting Morgan would need to bring him in for periodic x-rays and ultrasounds to monitor the progression of his disease. Morgan also requires regular medication. It is possible for him to die suddenly of irregular heartbeat or he might develop congestive heart failure.

Adopting Morgan wouldn’t be the easiest adoption in the world. It would require dedication and an understanding that every second you get to spend with your friend Morgan would be a treasure, one that would mean the world to both him and, very likely, to you, as well.

If you’d like to adopt Morgan, sponsor him, or even just meet the brave little fellow, contact Tabby’s Place in Ringoes, New Jersey.

Despite his illness, Morgan is always on the lookout for treats.

Despite his illness, Morgan is always on the lookout for treats.

***

If you’re concerned about your own cat and HCM, here’s what Dr. Collins had to say:

The symptoms that people can look for at home, unfortunately, develop late in the course of the disease.  Obviously, sudden onset of paralysis and pain would be an indication of FATE.  Labored, rapid breathing and possibly coughing could be an indication of congestive heart failure.  Frequently the first symptom we see, unfortunately, is sudden death from an arrhythmia.  When veterinarians hear a murmur that has not been present since birth, that can be an indication of HCM, but some cats with HCM don’t even have a murmur.  If a murmur is ausculted, most veterinarians recommend an ultrasound to evaluate for the cause.

You can get more information about HCM and FATE here.

Thanks so much to Dr. Laura Collins, the DVM at Tabby’s Place, for her detailed explanations of Morgan’s condition and to Angela Townsend for suggesting the story on Morgan and for putting me in contact with Dr. Collins.

Love,

Crepes.

 

10 thoughts on “Bachelor of the Week SPECIAL: Morgan & HCM

  1. I’ve shared Morgan’s story on my Facebook page! I wish him luck & wish we could adopt him! He seems such a sweet & handsome fellow. :) Good luck, Morgen!

    Love
    Selina & MomKatt Laura

  2. dood…may yur days bee filled with sunshine, salmon N mor loves than 75 kittehz can handle….heerez hopin St Francis watches over ewe N keeps ewe in hiz care N we hope that speshull purrson walks in N says….morgan…let’s go home !!

    XOX

  3. Oh My Cat me and Dad just watched the Video. We did not get the whole Cat in the Fridge thing. MOL Funny
    Anyhow
    We love Tabbys Place. Dad is a sponsor there. We read about Morgan and he will make someone a great kitty.
    Purrs for all you do!

  4. My Namir was found to have a heart murmur at age 4, was diagnosed with HCM at age 11 and lived to be 15 with occasional cases of CHF He got four pills four times a day, and except for that, he didn’t slow down in any way. I KNOW he watches over all the other kitties with HCM and CHF and makes sure they can be their best. Don’t be frightened of Morgan’s condition! For Namir and I’m sure for Morgan, it’s that attitude that loves life and everyone in it that keeps them going.

  5. Your post today hits close to home, as I have lost 3 cats to HCM. One of them was returned to me when she was 14 years old (she is my avatar) and a family asked to adopt her so she could live a happy life with them for however long she had…they had a year, a happy year, before they lost her to FATE. I am forever grateful that she found love again…just as Morgan should! I shared on my FB page, too.

  6. Pingback: Bachelorette of the Week: Sylvia! | Cat In The Fridge

Stumps up? Stumps down? What are your thoughts?