A Kelowna woman is expecting her cloned kittens to be born sometime over the next two weeks.
Nurse, business owner and grieving pet paw-rent Kris Stewart is taking steps to clone her late cat Bear using ViaGen, an American company that specializes in cloning livestock and pets.
Bear was five and a half years old when he was fatally hit by a car near his home.
After Bear’s sudden death, Stewart had to store the kitty in her own fridge overnight until a specialized vet could perform a biopsy. Bear’s cells were then isolated and reproduced.
ViaGen then inserted Bear’s genetic material into an ovum which was then implanted into a surrogate cat.
“When it comes to my animals I don’t see dollar signs,” she said.
The process of cloning her Bear will end up being about $50,000, but Stewart said that it is worth it.
“I just want him to continue to live on,” she said. “His life was too short.”
Now, the surrogate kitty is 61 days pregnant with three potential Bear clones.
Stewart said that a cat’s gestation period is approximately 65 to 70 days long, so her kittens could be born in as little as four days.
When the kittens are two weeks old ViaGen will have a third party lab run genetic testing to ensure a genetic match .
Steward is excited but guarded, knowing that issues can arise at any stage of pregnancy.
She said that if the kittens are healthy, she will receive between one and three kitties that are genetic matches for her beloved Bear.