just got back from taking leland for his cardiac ultrasound. my hopes were fulfilled and his results were the best possible given the circumstances. he does seem to have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, but it's in the very early stages (the dr explained that "some purists" in the field would not even diagnose it as hcm yet [for reasons i might or might not explain in a future post], so you know it's pretty mild at this point).
everyone commented on how wonderfully behaved he was. i had been told that the procedure takes 20-30 minutes (at one point i even heard 30-40), but leland was so well-behaved he was done in 10! i had just settled down in the lobby, watched a couple minutes of animal planet on the tv, & started leafing through the paper when the dr's assistant came out, cat in arms, & said "i wish they were all this easy." i've been him through a lot recently (three vet visits in two weeks!) & he has a little bald spot on his belly to show for it, but he's a trooper. he even still gets in his carrier voluntarily.
i still have to talk to the other vet about possible treatment (the dr i saw today even used the word "if" so it's possible leland doesn't even need treatment at this point, though i'd rather be safe).
so yeah, he has some potential health problems: early stages of heart disease and he's a carrier for FeLV (the virus is in his body, but seems to be latent: no infection), but he's in remarkable health considering. you'd never know he was sick (not without spending a few hundred bucks).
all in all it's still a little depressing, but considering how much worse it could have been, overall i'm relieved.