In loving memory of Conchita

In loving memory of Conchita

 Helena Strömberg

My beloved Burmese Conchita was only 4 years old when she suffered a hernia and had to be put to sleep. Conchita had a connective tissue disease, Feline Cutaneous Asthenia (FCA) or better known as Ehlers Danlos Syndrome which also affects humans. Different types of hernia are a common complication of FCA and I was therefore rushed to the vet when she got symptoms. Without signs of suffering, she had to be put to sleep and it comforted me immensely because it could have ended in a much more unpleasant way.

The disease FCA is mainly due to a lack of collagen in the connective tissue and it affects the cat in different ways. Among other things, affected cats get an abnormally large, loose and stretchy saggy skin that breaks easily. But the worst thing is that connective tissue is also found inside the cat and that the disease can therefore cause symptoms that may not always be visible. The cat can suffer from various hernias and hemorrhages, for example. Collagen is everywhere and mainly affects joints, blood vessels, skin, eyes and heart.

FCA is a hereditary disease that is thought to be inherited both recessively and in a dominant form. Research is underway and a commercial genetic test is close to being able to find out if a cat has a predisposition for this disease. Such a test could, given that the breeders use the test, help to stop this disease in the breed. However, more money is needed for this to become a reality.

Conchita was a big, beautiful and extremely kind Burmese. Through her calmness she contributed to a harmony among my cats. Despite her illness, she constantly climbed on our high roofs. What do you not do for a little better bird watching? Conchita was a badass catcher. Now I hope to inspire everyone to donate any amount of money to FCA research. The board of the Swedish Burmese Cat Club has been kind and started a fundraiser where you can easily donate money which then goes directly to the research through 99 Lives.

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