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Friday, 07 January 2005

A woman from San Francisco, California pays $50,000 for 'cloned' cat

SAN FRANCISCO, California - The pioneering genetics lab First National Genetic Bank has sold the first commercially available cloned cat. "He's just beautiful, exactly like my beloved Nicky," said Julie, the beaming new owner, who asked to remain anonymous, "Exactly. Almost perfectly the same. Very much like Nicky. Sort of." FNGB uses a secret new cloning technique involving stray cats. "Our patent is pending," explained FNGB President Larry House, "So we can't discuss the specifics. But there's no arguing about our client's happiness."

Side by side examination of photos of the cloned kitten and her now deceased genetic forebear show little resemblance. "That has been shown to be normal," explained House, "As the distinctive markings of the calico are formed during the fetal development phase. Even identical twin cats will vary greatly in their appearance. But what's really important is what's inside."

"I think this is a clear case of fraud."
-- San Francisco District Attorney

"The troubling aspect of this is that Nicky was in fact a Siamese cat," explained Julie's husband, "I could be wrong, but I would expect a clone to at least be of the same species. But if it keeps her happy..."

"Cloning is a very new science," said House stiffly, when asked about the apparent species difference, "It is unknown at this time whether the species is a genetic aspect, or is more of an acquired characteristic, like the markings. But I assure you that Little Nicky was lovingly formulated in our labs. I can show doubters the very test tube where she was conceived."

The San Francisco District Attorney is not convinced. "I think this is a clear case of fraud. Unfortunately the lady is so happy to have her dear Fluffy or whatever it was 'back', there's no talking to her," he said, exasperated, "Without her cooperation, we can't shut these guys down. My lab showed her that the kitten she bought can be traced to a shelter. We showed her pictures. And of course, cloning doesn't involve 'conception' or 'test tubes', so these guys clearly don't even know what they're talking about. But until somebody sways her, we got nothin'."

"Like I said, she's happy," explained Julie's husband, sighing, "And if she's happy, I'm happy. Fifty grand well spent."

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