I decided the day after Chai’s death that I was going to clone her. She died entirely out of the blue, had no genetic issues, and I truly felt like her life had been stolen from me. I entirely understand the questions and concerns this poses, and coming from an animal welfare background, I’m quite aware of the discontent this concept brings forth. I’m not trying to bring her back from the grave, but I do wish to carry on a piece of her memory in a way that is unique. This has never been documented on social media, and I look forward to doing so. If you haven’t checked out my GoFundMe, it has more details as well.
Why not just adopt a cat when there are so many in shelters and on the streets and save a life?
I have adopted a cat since Chai died, Remington, and I also have Spiffy, adopted from the Humane Society years before original Chai was even born. The funds I am raising for her cloning process are being matched and donated to Austin Pets Alive. If I meet my goal, $25,000 goes a lot further than adopting one or even ten cats.
Are you trying to bring Chai back from the dead?
No. I actually quite believe that given what will be the polar opposite upbringing in the cloned kitten that their personalities will be quite different. I’m not trying to replicate her or replace her memory. No cat will ever be able to do that, but I will be able to carry on, quite literally, a piece of her, and that means more to me than anything else.
She died young, so what if the clone has problems like that too?
Chai passed away from a blood clot, post-op, a total freak thing that unfortunately happens sometimes but not often. It could happen during a spay surgery to any animal. She had no genetic issues and was perfectly healthy leading up to the week before her death. There are no genetic factors at play that will carry on negatively to the cloned cat.
How does the cloning process work?
To be honest, a lot of the science goes over my head, so I’m just going to drop Viagen’s video below! It breaks it down in laymen’s terms.
Will the clone act the same, personality wise?
Like I mentioned above, likely not. I’m not looking for a replacement replica of Chai. Some of Viagen’s client stories talk about quirky personality traits coming back without instigation, but we’ll see.
How about just donating to a shelter instead?
I am doing just that. My GoFundMe for her cloning process is being matched and donated to Austin Pets Alive! If I reach my goal, that will save so many more lives than I could manage on my own.
What about other people who will go the route of cloning inspired by you? It adds up.
The odds of anything adding up are not high. Cloning is still a very expensive process, and most people who opt to clone will have likely already come to that decision on their own.
Does the mother have a litter of kittens or just one? How does Viagen select the surrogate?
There is a small chance more than one kitten might be born. As for the selection process, I’m not certain, but I do know that they only use the cat once and they work with a shelter who likely works on adopting the cat out after. I also have the choice to adopt the surrogate.
Have any questions that weren’t answered?
Feel free to reach out and contact me if you have any concerns or questions not listed here. I’d love to chat.