29 March 1992 - 23 May 2006

"I have felt perpetual gratitude to heaven for having given me, in you, a source of so much pure and unmixed happiness."

Thomas Jefferson




Contact Us





How I Met My Family and Got My Name


My Personality


My Siblings



Medical Problems


Arthritis and Acupuncture






Cat Flu  - Feline Herpes and

Feline Calici Virus






Dental Problems




Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)


Food Allergies


"Gunky" Ears and Ear Infections



Bowel Disease


Kidney Infections


Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)


Skin Problems




Torn Trachea


Undescended Testicle



My Near Misses


Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy



(Brain Tumour)





Behavioural and Lifestyle Issues


Feline Introductions


Inappropriate Elimination


Indoor/Outdoor Cats




Introduction from Harpsie Himself


Hello. That handsome guy in the top left corner is me, Harpsie (and although you probably can't tell, I am in a washbasin. Why not?) As you can see, I'm a Persian cat, a cream shaded cameo to be exact. Welcome to my website, and I hope you enjoy looking around.


The first question I am normally asked is why am I called Harpsie. Well, it's short for Harpsichord. And if you think that's bad, my brother was called Hannibal. There's more about how we got our names on the How I Met My Family and Got My Name page. 


The second question I'm normally asked is why do I have my own website. That's simple. I have managed to have a vast array of feline ailments, to the extent that my cardiologist (I have met a lot of "ologists" in my time) referred to me as "the walking veterinary encyclopaedia." More recently I was labelled a "feline medical enigma" by a major animal hospital. So basically, my human is collating all my medical information here, in the hope that it might help others. My human, by the way, is a busy woman - she also looks after Tanya's Feline Chronic Renal Failure Information Centre. She does answer all my mail, but I'm sorry to say she takes ages over it, so please do check to see if any of your questions can be answered here on the site or in the links provided. 


Anyway, it's time for me to have another nap, so I'm handing you over to my human now, who will write the rest of this site.


Aims of Harpsie's Site

My name is Helen, and I am Harpsie's "Mum". Little did we know how taking this delicate little cream kitten would change our lives. Over the years Harpsie has made us howl with laughter, and sob our hearts out, but we have never for one second regretted being his family. We don't have any real aims with this site, other than to give others with sick cats hope, and to try to capture Harpsie's amazing personality, which has played a major role in his ability to overcome his many medical challenges. Harpsie is incredibly placid and laidback, yet he has the most amazing fighting spirit when the chips are down.


I would like to emphasise that most of the time Harpsie enjoys a great quality of life. I'm not in the business of keeping miserable, terminally-ill cats alive. Harpsie has used up all his nine lives and then some, yet he's still with us, aged 14 now (born March 1992), and is happy and largely healthy apart from his arthritis (which is managed with acupuncture) and some neurological issues. He's a real inspiration to us, and we adore him.


Update: On 8th May 2006 Harpsie was diagnosed with carcinomatosis, diffuse and widespread cancer in the abdomen, which had already spread to the lungs. Neither of these conditions had been detectable only ten weeks earlier when Harpsie underwent extensive testing, so it was obviously a particularly aggressive form of cancer. In addition, it was both untreatable and terminal, as told to us by our vet and confirmed by a visit to an oncologist. We therefore focused on keeping Harpsie comfortable until the time came when he had to leave us. Whilst he continued to eat and to wash his paws afterwards until his very last day, he was finding it increasingly hard to breathe because of the secondary lung cancer. We therefore made the agonising decision to have Harpsie put to sleep on 23 May 2006, 15 days after his diagnosis. We miss him desperately.


Please click on the links in the sidebar on the left to learn more about Harpsie and his many ailments. 






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As mentioned above, my human (who is my secretary) is very busy. She does answer all mail, but sometimes it takes her ages, I'm afraid.



I have tried very hard to ensure that the information provided in this website is accurate, but I am NOT a vet, just an ordinary person who has lived with a complicated cat. This website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat any cat. Before trying any of the treatments described in this website, you MUST consult a qualified veterinarian and obtain professional advice on the correct regimen for your cat and his or her particular requirements; and you should only use any treatments described here with the full knowledge and approval of your vet. If your cat appears to be in pain or distress, do not waste time on the internet, contact your vet immediately.




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Last updated: 20 July 2011



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