Mar 29, 2009

Mystery Sphynx

The next time you're in the Mission in San Francisco, drop by Borderlands Books. You'll find good folks, and you'll find good books (especially of the science fiction, fantasy, and horror variety). You'll also find three resident Sphynx cats, Ripley, Ash, and Sly, all of whom are sweethearts, and all of whom hairless. Or, were hairless.

You see, several months ago, Ripley under went a procedure to have a cancerous lump taken off her shoulder. She then had to receive radiation and chemo therapy. Then an odd thing happened. Ripley the Hairless Cat became Ripley the Slightly Hairy Cat. That's right, she began growing thin, fine fur (you can see the fuzz on her back). Anyone care to explain that?

It's very appropriate that this mystery happened to a Sphynx cat. May both she and the proprietors of Borderland Books live long and prosper.

Thanks for the story, Amanda.

Photo source: Tensegrity Dan

12 comments:

Denita TwoDragons said...

Hee hee! Maybe she has "female pattern hairyness"...? ;-)

I guess sphynx cats get the opposite thing with chemo that furry critters (or people) get. Or maybe someone slipped Rogaine into her bath water! Soon she'll have enough fur to make a nice combover...

--TwoDragons

KittyChymira said...

Perhaps it has something to do with dominant and supressed genetics? Some bio-awesome person care toy delve into that? I don't know why she would grow hair. . . but she looks none too pleased with the newfound fuzz.

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling it was the chemo. Chemo damages all the bodies cells in order to kill the cancer cells that can't easily repair themselves; the other cells, healthy cells can recover. I have a feeling that as those healthy cells attempted to rapidly recover in order to survive, they went into overdrive in all functions, thus producing more hair than usual.

Frank Baron said...

As my dear old great-granny might have said, had she spoken English - "It just shows to go ya'. Ya' never know."

She was wise.

Yvonne Navarro said...

Ah, I have had the distinct delight of being able to personally pet one of those cats at Borderlands, at a signing a few years back. They are so ugly they are absolutely beautiful and irresistible.

nihil said...

For a really geeky answer: http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v127/n1/abs/5700486a.html

It is interesting though that the car now has fine hair. Of course, this could be applied to studying hairless rats and chemo to seek new ways to treat hair loss as a result of chemo or baldness.

Anonymous said...

After my Great Aunt had chemo and radiation for cancer, her formally grey and thinning hair fell out and was replaced with luxurious glossy black hair that fell in ringlets. It was very odd. She thought it was hilarious. I agree with the poster who mentioned changes in gene expression, as that is what the doctor told my aunt at the time.

Raging Wombat said...

I didn't have a clue about any of this. Fascinating.

Anonymous said...

Hello!

I am one of the people that Ripley owns, and I just wanted to correct a slight error in the write-up. The weird thing is that she never had any chemotherapy, just radiation therapy. Still, we're bewildered at the (relatively) sudden fuzziness and pretty sure it is connected to her surgery and its aftermath. It hasn't changed her personality at all, though -- she's still a diva and a cuddle slut, and happy to receive visitors.

Raging Wombat said...

Thank you for the correction, person who is owned by Ripley. Fascinating tale. I look forward to dropping in on your shop when next I'm in the city.

Anonymous said...

This looks like a Cornish Rex to me, if it is a cat who had cancer, it resembles the breed of Cornish Rex very closely.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornish_rex

caitlin said...

Radiation damages your DNA as well. A cat growing hair back after such a procedure is the same as a once straight-haired human growing curly hair after such a procedure. The DNA in the animal's cells have been damaged and the genes are now replicating and expressing mutated codon sequences.