I will be banking my cat's DNA - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-09-2005, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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I will be banking my cat's DNA

My little fuzzy angel is dying of liver cancer and kidney disease, and I made the decision on the weekend to bank his DNA with Genetic Savings and Clone. Having this option has been like someone throwing me a lifeline, and I don't go into this with any misgivings. I know any kitten produced will not be "him", only similar to him. My angel was a feral cat, and it took me nearly three years to coax him into my life. Any future kitten wouldn't have had that life experience. He had a very hard life before I took him in, and I've always wondered what it would have been like to have had him from a kitten...

Such a kitten won't be taking a home from another cat, I've always opened my door to rescued cats (I currently have three that I rescued in the house), and will continue to do so, but this little one would be something extra special to me.

It's entirely possible that, in a few years time, if my grief ever lessens, that I may decide not to go through with it. I understand what someone said about tarnishing the memory of the old cat, or even disrespecting his memory by replacing him, and I'm agonizing about that right now. It might be the only thing that prevents me from eventually going ahead with it. But I had my angel neutered before I realized that he is the cat love of my life, and I would love for his line to continue in some manner. I would view any future kitten as his son, nothing more, but I look forward to seeing what similarities there might be.

And I'm also agonizing about the "what ifs": what if the samples don't arrive in time, what if they're damaged, what if they don't prove to be viable and I will have gone through all this for nothing. Without a doubt, this has been the worst week of my life!! If this had happened five years ago, I would have been suicial! Banking his DNA is the only thing that's getting me through this, but I understand and respect the decision of many of you not to do what I'm doing. I admire your ability to let them go, not replacing them, but moving on to a new love. It's just that I've never loved anything as much as I love this little cat, and it's entirely possible that I never will.

I just know that if I don't act now and bank his DNA, I could regret it for the rest of my life. I've had friends tell me that they wish that this had been an option when they lost their beloved. And I've had others tell me what a fantastic cat I have, and that it's a shame I didn't get a litter from him. That all just adds to the pain I'm feeling.

It's too late for me to back out of this, as money has already changed hands, and the kit will be delivered to the clinic today, but I would appreciate your comments. As I said, I may never go through with it, but it's providing me a small measure of comfort to think of what might be in the future. And this is the future, whether we like it or not. The genie is out of the bottle.

Am I wrong to bank his DNA? Or is it just part of my grieving process that I need to have this option in the future?
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post #2 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-09-2005, 08:56 PM
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I made the decision on the weekend to bank his DNA with Genetic Savings and Clone.
This is a personal decision, of course. However the name Genetic Savings and Clone sounds frivolous to me. Are you sure this is an honest operation? How much research did you do on this organization? I would tend to think they are not serious.




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post #3 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-09-2005, 08:59 PM
 
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They are an honest company, however the state of CA is trying to shut them down.

I don't have a problem with getting a clone of your cat if you've got the money to do so. It isn't much different from spending $20,000 on a Rolex instead of $20 on a Timex.
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post #4 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-09-2005, 09:01 PM
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My deepest sympathy regarding your furbaby.
I certainly wouldn't judge your decision, you have every right to do what you wish.
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post #5 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-09-2005, 09:19 PM
 
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I'm so sorry about your furbaby.
I don't have any opinion one way or the other as far as the ethics of cloning animals. I definately can understand the appeal of getting a clone of a beloved pet.
The only thing I would caution you about is to seriously look into is the health issues of the animals that have been cloned to date.

Jennifer
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post #6 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-09-2005, 10:15 PM
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its always hard to deal with the loss of a very beloved pet.

however, I think you may be setting yourself up for another tragic heartbreak. I do believe things like cancers, liver and kidney diseases can be genetic, so the fact that you would be cloning a cat from his dna suggest that the new cat would be just as prone to having the same problems in his life.

I'm not completely sure how it works though, but in your case I think it is comforting knowing that its there if you decide to use it and if not, you won't have the nagging "what if" feeling of if you decided not to do it.

I really think saving the life of another cat can easily be just as (if not more!) rewarding. I'm sure whatever you choose to do will be the best for you personally. Good luck, you are in my thoughts!

Jessie

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post #7 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-09-2005, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, everyone, for your support. It means a great deal to me to know that y'all don't think I'm insane, or selfish, or both.

I was warned by GSC that any disease suffered by my little guy will be passed along to his 'son', but he had always been a very healthy cat. I don't know his true age, but he's been in my life as a companion for 15 years, feral in the yard for almost three, so he could be near 20, or even older. His disease is recent, so I think I would have some breathing room with the new one.

As for saving the life of another cat, I would do that anyway. Not only do I have the option to adopt the baby's mother if I so desire, in my yard lurks another feral cat that I've been feeding for many months, and even put out a dogloo with a heating pad for him over the winter. I originally thought that the local cats were just treating the area as a bistro, or bed & breakfast, until recent heavy rains. I looked inside and out popped the one I suspected of not having a home. I can't imaging anyone letting their cat out in a persistant, days-long rain, so I think I have another feral cat to tame. My home will always be a safe haven for cats.
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post #8 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-10-2005, 02:15 AM
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Don't do it.

You're fantasizing about having your sick cat cloned as a distraction from the facts that are before you: You are losing someone you love very much. That is a fact you must and should accept and there is nothing or noone that can change that. I feel your pain, but I am absolutely certain you are making the wrong decision if you choose to invest in this cloning institute.

There are plenty of fascinating and wonderful cats already born and plenty more that will be born in desperate need of someone like you. They are in the dumpsters at night looking for food, they are in the streets, they are in the shelters just waiting for someone to come along and discover and appreciate thier true uniqueness and beauty--your next cat won't be a clone of your old one, but he is out there just waiting to surprise you by just being himself.

Take the money you had planned to give to the cloning institute(which I'm sure is an outragous amount) and invest it into helping cats already here that are in need of heros to come along and rescue them.

Grieve for your loss, and let your little "fuzzy angel" live on forever and ever--in your heart.

The Original Male Kitten.
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post #9 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-10-2005, 05:04 AM
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When it comes to saving DNA I think it's positive. I'm considering to start my own "DNA-library", not because I wanna clone but because it will be an important weapon in fighting inheritable diseases. Already we're DNA-testing Persians for PKD and soon we'll be DNA-testing Maine Coons for HCM.

Cloning animals however is something I really don't like. Animals cloned today are born abnormally large and many of them have weakened immune system and so far they have all died quite young. It's just one of these things I really think we simply should not do because it causes physical suffering in the animals and emotional suffering in humans.

As long as you've just banked the DNA you've done nothing else but saved your cats DNA and I see nothing wrong in doing that.
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post #10 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-10-2005, 09:09 AM
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If you feel that you will be able to treat this animal as the original, different, and independent cat he will be, then by all means, go for it. I know I would give anything to have another Snuggles.

It's entirely your decision, and I know many people who would support you in it.

Lisa
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