HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (WCNC) – A North Carolina couple successfully cloned their 19-year-old cat after she recently died.
Bryan and Ashley Bullerdick adopted Cinnabun the first when they were newlyweds.
“She just pulled at my heart-strings since the day I got her,” Ashley said. “That’s a special time: Happy, in love, and she just added to all of that.”
When Cinnabun the first turned 19, the couple started thinking of ways their special cat could live on. They turned to science.
Bryan Bullerdick said he first heard of animal clothing when he heard about Barbara Streisand cloning her dog. After heavy research, the couple called ViaGen Pets in Texas, the same company Streisand used. ViaGen Pets is known for cloning horses, dogs, and cats.
The cloning kit cost the couple $1,600, and they say it sat in their freezer for months while they decided if they wanted to go through with the process. As Cinnabun the first continued to age, they eventually decided to collect the skin and saliva samples needed and send them off for cloning.
Six months and $25,000 later, the Bullerdicks met Cinnabun the second. They said she is exactly like her predecessor.
“An exact DNA match,” Ashley said. “Looks? Yes, it’s spot on!”
Bryan and Ashley said their familiar feline was worth every penny.
“Yes, it is a lot of money,” Bryan explained. “But people choose different things on what to spend money on. People buy nice boats on Lake Norman here, or people will buy nice cars or vacations. Vacation is a memory that will last a week, this is part of the family that can hopefully be with us for 19 years.”
The couple said the new kitten’s personality is the same as Cinnabun the first’s. They said she even sleeps in the same spot, on Ashley’s pillow above her head.
The Bullerdicks said they would be open to a Cinnabun the third, but have not made that decision yet.