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Woman Paid £18,000 To Clone Her Beloved Cat

Claire Reid

Published 

Woman Paid £18,000 To Clone Her Beloved Cat

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

A woman forked out a whopping $25,000 (£18,000) to have her pet cat cloned after the beloved moggie died aged five. You can see footage of the cloned cat here:

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Kelly Anderson, 32, decided she wanted to have her cat Chai cloned back in 2017, after she died from post-op complications.

Her roommate, a vet-tech, told her about a company called ViaGen, which offers cloning services to pet owners.

Kelly, who lives in Austin in Texas, spent all night researching the company and asked the vet to freeze Chai to preserve her DNA.

ViaGen took the dead cat's DNA and placed it into an empty egg, which was then implanted into a surrogate feline.

And after four years of unsuccessful attempts, Chai's clone - a kitten named Belle - was born last August.

She said: "They initially updated me after every attempt but after a while they stopped.

"Cells die off quicker when frozen, so they were only able to obtain about 6 million cells from Chai instead of the usual 10 million that they needed.

"It was so disheartening after every failed attempt, so I kind of 'shut off' to it.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

"When I got the call, I was in shock. I had completely turned off my emotions.

"I had actually called them about something completely different - they rang me back so quickly that I knew something was up!

"Everyone else was really excited so I think my reaction was a bit anticlimactic."

Kelly was first able to meet her new pet in October last year - and decided to share her experiences online.

But Kelly has faced huge backlash about her decision, with people claiming she is unfairly replacing her old pet or even that cloning does not exist and that she has been scammed.

She described her reaction to the online hate as a 'love-hate relationship'.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

Kelly said: "I never wanted to have a replacement. I loved Chai and thought that just replacing her would take away from her memories.

"I love arguing with people over this. I did my research and know that they are a really humane company.

"Also people always comment that I should have adopted but I already have two adopted cats. I believe in adopting responsibly and shopping responsibly.

"I fully admit that the decision was a coping mechanism for the intense grief, however, by the time Belle arrived I had fully grieved Chai."

Despite the mix of opinions Belle's existence has stirred up, Kelly doesn't regret a thing and still continues to post about her cat online.

Kelly said: "Instagram is not the same place I remembered it to be, so I quickly jumped to posting content on TikTok.

"I wanted to become someone who is educating people by sharing memories of Belle as well as talking about the entire process.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

"Cloning exists. It's been going on since the 1950s and the science behind it is incredibly developed now.

"I am speaking for myself here, but I believe everyone who has cloned their pets also wants to say that we did it because we love our pets.

"Everything I did was out of a place of love and appreciation for Chai.

"I was so heartbroken when she passed so it was amazing to think that I could have a part of her again.

"In the end, I think my decision saved my life and I would not change it for the world."

Topics: US News, Animals, Cats

Claire Reid
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