Post Published on February 9, 2021 | Last Updated on March 5, 2021 by Jenny
Update March 5, 2021: Nichole’s Kickstarter was a success, so she is now offering the book for pre-order on her website.
Two weeks ago, I got an email from Nichole Webster. She’s a paramedic based in Toronto, but she’s also an author. And sadly, her sphynx Fluffy died on December 9th last year.
Nichole explained that the death was a result of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, which meant that it was very sudden and unexpected, which is always heartbreaking.
Honoring Fluffy and to help raise money and awareness for HCM research, Nichole has written a children’s book, named ‘Fluffy the Hairless Cat and the Midnight Mouse Mission’. She’s funding it through Kickstarter and you can register your interest in a copy here.Honoring Fluffy and to help raise money and awareness for HCM research, Nichole has written a children’s book, named ‘Fluffy the Hairless Cat and the Midnight Mouse Mission’. Click To Tweet
About the book
Nichole has written the book herself, and describes it as “An action-packed tale of a big-hearted hairless cat versus a sly house mouse”. It’s aimed not only at children, but at adults too – as a reminder to recognize what you value most in life.
It’s illustrated by Kristina Dutton in a fun, lively way and is a compelling adventure about a silly, lovable sphynx.
Once the book is funded through Kickstarter, which is aimed just at getting it printed, any retail sales will include a 20% donation to research into HCM. It’s important to be clear that the Kickstarter funds don’t include the charitable donation but do get the book ready to sell so that more money can be raised further down the line.
About HCM in Cats
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a condition that affects the muscular walls of a cat’s heart. It makes them thicker, which in turn makes the heart less efficient. It’s believed to be genetic, based on the fact that it impacts selected breeds more, and has various genetic mutations.
It’s more prevalent in sphynx breeds, but also in Maine Coon, British Shorthair, Rex, Persian and Ragdoll. The problem is that not all mutations have been discovered yet, which means the condition is often left undiscovered and untreated until it’s too late – there are few signs and symptoms in the early days, but it can develop into sudden death, blood clots and congestive heart failure.
HCM has no cure, but if diagnosed it can be managed through treatments that improve the heart rate, alleviate congestion and stop blood clots from forming, allowing your cat to live a longer and healthier life.
Dr. Kate Meurs DVM has a Ph.D. in Genetics and is carrying out research at North Carolina State University. The plan is to find all of the genetic mutations that are responsible for causing HCM, so that it can be detected much more reliably, and fewer cats (and owners) have to suffer with this deadly condition.
Again, you can support Nichole’s book by visiting her Kickstarter campaign here.
Alternatively, you can make a direct donation to Dr. Meurs’ research. Doing so will help further her studies and make it easier to identify the mutations that cause HCM in cats. You can contact her directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.