The first cloned-to-order pet sold in the United States is named Little Nicky, a 9-week-old kitten delivered to a Texas woman saddened by the loss of a cat she had owned for 17 years.
The kitten cost its owner $50,000 and was created from DNA from her beloved cat, named Nicky, who died last year.
"He is identical. His personality is the same," the owner, Julie, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. Although she agreed to be photographed with her cat, she asked that her last name and hometown not be disclosed because she said she fears being targeted by groups opposed to cloning.
Yet while Little Nicky, who was delivered two weeks ago, frolics in his new home, the kitten's creation and sale has reignited fierce ethical and scientific debate over cloning technology, which is rapidly advancing.
The company that created Little Nicky, Sausalito-based Genetic Savings and Clone, said it hopes by May to have produced the world's first cloned dog - a much more lucrative market, than cats.
I personally don't understand what generates the passion among the anti-cloning forces. You know, I love both my dogs dearly, but I wouldn't be tempted to clone either of them. But many years ago I had a dog that was like no other I've ever met... she was really something special, and whatever the proportion of nature in the nature/nurture equation, I wish I could have a chance at raising another companion who had the same genetic makeup to start... because I can't take credit for the wonderful being she turned out to be.
The argument that "think of how many stray animals that $50,000 could have saved" is ridiculous. Those strays don't need money, they need homes, and you can't force people into adopting animals they don't want. The answer to the stray problem is education - educating people to be responsible, the answer is not guilting animal lovers. I mean if you were to take this argument to it's logical conclusion, anyone who breeds their pet is complicit in the execution of innocent puppies and kittens whose only crime was to be born.