Friday, March 11, 2005
Edith - a small cat with a big heart
Edith is a smoke-colored British Shorthair, born in November 2003. She was the loveliest kitten we had ever had, always friendly, fun and cuddly. We were planning on keeping her for breeding, but when she got her shots, we discovered a heart murmur. An ultra-sound confirmed that she had indeed a problematic heart - due to a tight artery, her heart has thickened. We decided to keep her, of course - I'm not selling a cat with a heart condition - and she's been our lovely pet ever since. My niece refers to her as "the cat you pet and then she falls over", very appropriate. Edith loves being petted, and will lay down on her side and have you rub her tummy if you show the slightest interest.
Around christmas, she started going into heat. She's been on the pill, but that's not a good long-term solution as that generally leads to various kinds of cancers for cats. (And wouldn't that suck - the heart can beat on for a normal life-time, but what if she died of cancer at three?) On Monday, we had another ultra-sound done, with Sweden's leading cat cardiologist, and she said that the condition hadn't changed at all. The heart is not getting worse, and although there's very little research done on heart conditions in cats she wagered a guess that Edith could have a normal, long life.
So we decided to go ahead and try with a neutering. The risk, of course, is anesthesia. If you put a cat with a heart condition under, she might not wake up. As we were informed by the vet who was performing the surgery - "these cats often die on the operating table. Just so you know."
But - surgery went fine, and she's now at home. Tired, and she hates her collar, but she's dealing with it. Keep your fingers crossed for a speedy recovery, and that she won't have any complications.