Elvis was doomed to die young! The Bengal cat is not doomed to die young. However, some Bengal cats carry a genetically inherited trait that gives them a predisposition to a heart disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Research on one of Elvis Presley’s hair strands that was saved by his barber and which was bought for $2000 indicates that the singer had a genetic weakness associated with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
This heart condition can lead to the death of the individual by a sudden heart attack. The DNA research begs the question whether Elvis Presley died on his toilet by a heart attack. Apparently, one of his super-sized sandwiches was also in the toilet – he appears to have been eating while defecating!
Perhaps, Sarah Hartwell can leave a comment about how the genetic disease of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy was introduced into the Bengal cat breeding lines. It may have been introduced by one of the early foundation cats of which there are few (allegedly causing inbreeding). Jean Mills also, apparently, imported a stray or feral cat from India, as I recall, to boost the breeding line and to create the desired appearance. It may be that that particular individual cat carried this inherited medical defect.
It is certainly a disappointment and it must be upsetting to breeders of this popular cat that some of their cats suffer from this serious condition. That is not to say that random bred cats do not contract this condition, they do but it appears that the Bengal cat is more likely to.
I thought I would have a little fun today; hence this short article. It should be said, that it was thought that Elvis Presley’s eating and overdosing on drugs had killed him but this DNA research adds an extra layer of discussion to his early death at age 42.
This video shows a Persian show cat being tested for HCM and a cat show in Oklahoma, USA. Ultrasound is used.