After watching her cat Chai develop an illness and dying young, a woman made a drastic decision to spend $25,000 to clone her cat.
This action done “out of pure love” for her feline companion has attracted a lot of negative responses from persons online.
In a statement to The Sun, Kelly Anderson explained that she was completely content with her decision, regardless of the fact that she received a large quantity of hate mail from persons on social media and a scornfully critical letter from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
After Chai died at the age of 5-years-old on March 16, 2017, Kelly felt devastated and didn’t sleep that night. This was when the discussion of cloning first began between Kelly and her roommate, who is a vet tech.
Following a long and very in-depth research of ViaGen that night, she immediately phoned the animal-cloning company the “second they opened”.
“The process from there was basically getting my vet to work with them to get a skin biopsy,” she explained what was needed from the deceased cat.
While ViaGen told The Sun that the cloned pet and the deceased cat would look identical, the company also noted that the personalities of both animals would be different depending on external factors.
Depending on how many animals are living in the house, the food the pet is given to eat, how the feline is raised, and many other nature-versus-nurture impacts, these would all contribute to how the cats would be different.
However, Kelly stated that the new cat, who she named Bell, “is completely different” from her beloved deceased Chai. Kelly pointed out that the two cats have a few “baseline personalities that are a little similar,” such as their “very bold” and “sassy” behaviours, but aside from that, they are completely different pets.
During the virtual interview, Kelly described her new pet as a “troublemaker”. Explaining that her three other adopted cats were between the ages of 3 and 13, she described them as being “pretty chill”.
She continued to explain that Belle is very playful and “rambunctious”, which fits the profile of all 6-month-old kittens. Kelly described her cat as “affectionate”, “inquisitive”, and “bold”. The fearless feline enjoys going to new places and meeting new animals.
Both cats are indeed identical, but Belle “is getting fluffier” than Chai due to the sickness Chai had.
As a result of cloning her pet, Kelly awoke controversy online. The controversial and relatively new discussion of cloning pets has placed Kelly in the line of fire from Tiktok users who are strongly against the matter. Persons oppose the idea of it, saying adopting should be the option everyone turns to instead of cloning. Some persons have also claimed she cloned her cat to make money on social media.
Clarifying why she did it, Kelly said, “That’s not sure. I’m making nothing off this. I just loved Chai so much. That’s the only reason I cloned him.”
In an email from PETA, the company stated Kelly’s large fanbase gives her a great amount of influence which could lead to starting a clone trend. In the letter, PETA wrote, “we are desperate to help shelters … and to NOT create a cloning trend.” PETA also said that Kelly’s actions are affecting the lives of other cats who are still sitting in shelters waiting for a family to adopt them.
Previously, Kelly did some work with PETA on some campaigns as she is an accomplished animal trainer.
In an email responding to PETA, Kelly wrote that their concerns were “misplaced” and informed the company that cloning did not affect the animals in shelters. She went on to say that even though she fostered over 100 cats and adopted cats too, the death of her pet broke her heart.
In Kelly Anderson’s words, Chai was “special and different” beyond words could explain.
“I’ve never had a pet like her. And I wanted to carry on a piece of her,” she said.
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