Did you ever think of having your cat cloned? Not long ago, right here in Connecticut I saw a seminar about cloning cats. Yes, they had a closed cat AND kitten with them as a demonstration. It was interesting but I am not sure I agree with the concept. I mean…why clone cats?
Oh sure, if you have a cat you absolutely love and want its genetic clone, and you have a load of money to spare, perhaps then cloning is an option. But, the chance your cat will be identical to the old kitty you lost… well, let’s just say there’s no proof or scientific evidence of being able to clone personality.
The very first successfully cloned cat is named CC (Copy Cat or Carbon Copy) and she will soon be 10 years old. CC was cloned at the College of Veterinary Medicine at A&M University in Texas 2001, and in December CC will turn 10 years old. She has a mate and they have three offspring. All of them live in a mansion built by Dr. Duane C. Kraemer, an A&M researcher who helped bring CC into the world.In 2006, CC gave birth to 4 kittens, but one was stillborn. “CC has always been a perfectly normal cat and her kittens are just that way, too,” said Kraemer in 2006. “We’ve been monitoring their health and all of them are fine, just like CC has been for the past five years.”
This cat lives better than I do…CC resides in a two-storey abode, which has a screened front porch, air-conditioning, heating, plumbing, catwalks, lofts and an enclosed outdoor play area.
The original genetic donor to the project was a calico cat named Rainbow. But CC is not a calico, hence she is not identical to Rainbow. About 87 cat embryos were produced, but only one developed into a full-term pregnancy after being transferred into a surrogate mother named Allie. CC is a tabby and white, and is genetically identical to Rainbow but epigenetically and thus phenotypically different.
Unfortunately, Allie was adopted by irresponsible pet owners who allowed her outside and she was killed by a car. Rainbow passed away from cancer a couple years ago. CC and her brood are all spayed and neutered now and living the high life in their own mansion.
A&M’s cat-cloning operation was an offshoot of the Missyplicity Project to clone a dog named Missy with funding help from a company (Genetic Savings & Clone) that wanted to market pet cloning. CC came about due to an operation dubbed Operation CopyCat. When the dog-cloning project had little success, researchers turned to cats.
But all the cute names in the world can’t blanket the facts of whether or not cloning is morally right. Every year millions of cats are put todeath because there are so few homes. But, cloning can run parallel to breeding in the moral sense, as it poses the question; would this method of adding more cats to the population hinder the adoption of homeless cats?
I don’t think there’s any right or wrong answer to this question. For now, cat cloning is too expensive for most average cat owners anyway.
Happy Birthday, CC.