''When Harry met Sally''
is a very special cat, and this is his story.....
was born normally, and grew to be a healthy, big kitten
who was a little shyer than his littermates, but very
his first checkup & vaccinations, no problems to
report, he had his second checkup at 12 weeks &
the vet heard a tiny, tiny, murmer, nothing unusual
in kittens going to have their shots, nothing to worry
about is the prognosis, it is quite common, and usually
cannot be heard again & causes no problems, so Harry
was homed as a pet.
his new owner found she was allergic to Harry, &
decided she could not live with streaming eyes, so we
all agreed it best for Harry to return.
found a new owner, a lady called Sally. Sally had a
bad experience in the past, and had gone through a lot
of illness with a Maine Coon she had bought 3 years
ago, before losing her girl to two Greyhounds, a tragic
end & an awful time for Sally.
the plunge with another coonie, this time a male, and
we were delighted she found us & had Harry.
was very shy & anxious in his second new home, he
would not allow them to pick him up & for the first
week it seemed that maybe it was not going to work out.
was very patient with him, just giving him strokes,
and not pushing him to be picked up, and after a week
we think Harry realised that this was a nice place to
be, and started to show his true character...
into an affectionate, loving cat, who was always by
Sally's computer with her, so affectionate and full
of character, she said she never thought she would have
another cat that had so much character like her girl
did, but here he was....
well, until a few weeks later when Harry went for a
check-up at the vets.
heard a worrying heart murmer & were extremely concerned
needed a specialist and fast, so there was a wee anxious
wait for Petplan to confirm they would cover the expense,
and after a few days they came through, so Harry was
booked into the specialist unit at St Albans.
seen the very next day, and Sally spent a whole day
anxiously pacing, very tearful, just wanting to take
her Harry home, while the poor boy was treated to intense
scrutiny to find what the problem was. Sally went home
with her baby wrapped in her arms, both totally exhausted.
Harry has a condition so rare it is hardly ever seen,
the odds of it hapenning are fantastically high, and
they call it a 'throwback'
heart is formed, the parts of the heart are all formed
individually, all surrounded by their own membrane,
and as the chambers develop and the kitten grows in
the womb, the membranes dissolve to form one whole heart.
case, one of the membranes did not dissolve, and began
to thicken & turn into muscle, blocking the flow
of the blood around the heart, thereby causing the heart
to be placed under enormous strain & having to work
5 times harder.
normal circumstances Sally would lose him within twelve
to eighteen months as he would suffer heart failure.
of this hapenning again are extremely high, you could
do this mating many times and never see it, so we ask..why
Harry? Such a loving boy, he doesn't deserve to go through
has just one chance to live a normal life, one kitten
born in America was given pioneering treament, that
blasts this muscle wall allowing the blood to flow normally,
this was successful thankfully, but has never been done
since, and never in England.
has been offered this pioneering operation for Harry,
but she knows the odds are not good. She could lose
him on the operating table if his heart cannot take
the strain, it may simply not work this time, or it
could work & Harry can live virtually a normal life
to a ripe old age, it is a gamble.
by taking this chance with Harry, it will greatly benefit
others that may follow..
must wait a while before he can have this operation,
and we know he is in the best hands possible right now...Sally's,
who will give him all the love and care he needs to
get him through this
times I said to Sally, ''after all you went through
with Mimby, I wish it had not been you who took Harry''...
but I think I am wrong, I think she is exactly right
for him, she cares so much, wheras others may have just
given up on him, so no, I think it was his good fortune
to find her.
Harry will have the best treatment he can get from the
team at St Albans, and we hope to report on Harry's
progress, and a successful outcome in the near future
Sue & ourselves are with you all the way Sally
crossed pleased for our Harry...xx
Update on Harry Sept 2004 ***
is nearly one year old now, it is a very difficult time
now, stunningly, 7 animals have been diagnosed with
this same condition since Harry. Two were desperately
ill & have undergone the ballooning, one (dog) had
the open heart surgery.
Harry is doing well, his quality of life is great, but
he will go back to South Mimms shortly to have extensive
tests to see how he is really progressing.
choice ? To wait until Harry is very sick to have the
treatment, with the outcome possibly inevitable, or
let them do it while he is still possibly fit enough
to survive it.
dont think I could face that choice & know what
to do for the best.
on Harry Oct 2004 ***
has had his check up, and news was not good.
to look at you would not see anything is wrong with
Harry, the blockage has doubled in thickness inside
the heart. This is very bad news as it means Harry can
no longer have the angioplasy.
only option is open-heart surgery, and chances of survival
are really not good. Sally has chosen not to put Harry
through this whilst his quality of life is still so
good, and it will only be a last resort once Harry becomes
ill. She will take it day by day.
if you have contacts in other countries, pass this story,
we need to find somebody who has dealt with it before,
whatever the outcome was or is. In the UK so little
is known about it that they just dont know what is best
on Harry August 4th 2005 ***
Harry is undergoing his life saving operation, without
it he will surely die soon, with it he faces the same
fate, but at least Harry has a chance.
cats have donated blood, his stablemate Brocstar Jacob,
his mother Willow & his sister Chinook, without
Maine coon blood it could not go ahead, we had offers
of others cats to donate blood , thankyou for this,
it was so appreciated.
Sally can do is wait to know if her boy will be going
home with her soon..
on Harry August 9th 2005 ***
Harry has amazed everybody, and not only has he come
through the operation but he has recovered so rapidly
that after just 5 days he has actually gone home !!
operation was a complete success, and Harry will be
a benchmark for any future cases, everything has been
documented and the operation itself was filmed, he is
the only animal to survive this operation anywhere in
an amazing feat this boy has acheived !!!!!
done Sally, we are so proud of you for keeping faith
in Harry and never letting go, may he go from strength
STORMINNORMAN AFTER THE OPERATION
Harry looks pretty
grim after his op we know, all shaved and blue dye on
him, but it is lovely to see him alive and well so far,
we will update his photo once his coat has grown back
and he is looking gorgeous once again !
on January 2006 ***
Harry is doing
amazingly well and has his beautiful coat back !
His story was
shown on BBC 1 in a wonderful documentary and we hope
all the information collected can at some point in the
future be of great benefit to others.
What a fantastic
team Harry had looking after him !
We say our thanks
to Dan Brockman and all the staff at the RVC, and also
to PETPLAN Insurance, who have covered the cost of all
this from start to now, a remarkable story that shows
miracles can happen :))
the RVC Website