Cloned Cat Gives Birth

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The world's first cloned cat, CC, has a new name: Mom.

CC, who was cloned by Texas A&M researchers, now has three kittens of her own. Short for Copy Cat, she was born December 22, 2001 and became the first-ever cloned cat. Her birth was the accomplishment of a team of Texas A&M University researchers in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

She has since lived with Duane Kraemer, a veterinary medicine professor who helped clone her, in Bryan.

CC was successfully mated with Smokey, who like CC, is a tabby, but with different markings.

The three kittens were born almost exactly three months ago.

Although not the first cloned cat to have a litter of kittens, CC is thought to be the first in Texas to give birth. Of her three kittens, two resemble her while the third is identical to the gray color of Smokey, the dad.

"CC has always been a perfectly normal cat and her kittens are just that way, too," Duane Kraemer says. He adds he's been closely monitoring the entire family and all are fine.

Kraemer's wife, Shirley, says the new kittens are just as playful as CC was when she was little.

Make no mistake, these kittens won't be up for adoption. Kraemer plans to keep all of them. Shirley says, "We'll never part with them. They will always remain with us or other family members."

Texas A&M has cloned more species than any institution in the world. Since 1999, researchers have cloned cattle, swine, goats, horses, a deer and a cat.