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A woman revealed that she spent $25,000 to clone her deceased pet cat, which she believed was her soulmate.
Source: This Morning/Youtube
Kelly Anderson was shocked when her five-year-old cat, Chai, died in 2017. The 32-year-old woman told ITV that Chai was the closest thing she could describe to a soulmate. She added, “I lost her very young, so when she passed I remembered a conversation I had with my roommate about cloning and I reached out to ViaGen Pets. Belle came into my life just last year.”
During the interview, she had Chai’s clone, Belle, on her lap and told how the cloning process works and how it took four years but that it was “definitely worth the wait.” The new cat is technically a part of Chai because they share the same DNA.
ViaGen Pets is the company that cloned Chai, and they offer animal cloning services to pet owners. They have cloned horses and livestock for seventeen years, and just over three years ago, they began cloning cats and dogs.
They charge $50,000 to clone a dog and $35,000 to clone a cat. They have upped their fee since Anderson went through them to cover the rising costs of this complicated practice. Interestingly, the higher price for dogs is not due to their size. It is actually because dogs go through heat only once or twice a year, while a cat’s reproductive cycle is much more frequent.
ViaGen Pets requires at least two skin samples to collect the DNA and start the clone. The samples are then chilled and sent to the lab, where they are placed in an incubator for the cells to begin growing. In just two to four weeks there are millions of new cells which are then harvested and placed in vials that are frozen in liquid nitrogen tanks. To preserve these cells costs $1600 with an annual $150 for storage.
Then, a donor egg is taken from a donor animal, but the egg’s nucleus is removed and replaced with the millions of cells that the lab grew. The embryo is implanted into a surrogate animal that gives birth to kittens that are genetically identical to the original cat.
Source: Tech Insider/Youtube
Anderson said that usually, it does not take nearly four years for this process, but the company recommends taking a skin biopsy while the animal is still alive. She was asked if she believed the cat was the same as Chai, and she said she never expected her to be Chai.
“I never wanted her to be Chai, to me that felt like a replacement,” she continued. “It’s a piece of Chai so that’s what matters the most to me.”
Many have attacked Anderson online and have been making fun of her, but she said people’s main concern is how much she spent. She explained, “$25,000 is definitely a lot of money but people spend that on cars every day or more and no one says anything about that.”
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