Cedar Rapids Woman Has Deceased Cat Cloned
A woman from Cedar Rapids, who wants to remain anonymous, said not long before the death of her favorite cat, Mr. Tufts, that she wanted a carbon copy.
"I had never had such a wonderful creature. It was harder losing him than any other cat I've ever had," she told The Courier newspaper.
Tissue samples were collected by Dr. Kevin Christman from Cedar Valley Veterinary Center in Cedar Falls. The samples were then sent along to ViaGen Pets in Cedar Park, Texas. There's a weird amount of "Cedar's" in this story.
ViaGen Pets are specialists in cloning and genetic preservation, but of household pets.
The company has successfully cloned dogs, cats, and horses. They recently even cloned an endangered Przewalski's horse for the San Diego Zoo.
How it works, according to client services manager Melain Rodriguez, is using the frozen cells to replace the nucleus of a female's cat egg.
Mr. Tufts photocopy, Mr. Tufts Jr. is now 9 months old. Once he was 2 months old, he came to live with his new owner, who had now also adopted the surrogate mother.
"The only physical difference, as far as I can see, is in health and body condition. The original T had been found on a forest trail and had a very bad respiratory illness," the owner said. "Our new Mr. Tufts Jr. is much more athletic than our original, probably because he, and mom cat, too, had the best of care."
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