“The smallest of felines is a masterpiece,” Leonardo da Vinci remarked in amazement at the time. I believe that Leonardo da Vinci would agree with me that there is absolutely no need to clone pets. So do I.
It’s been eight years since the passing of my all-time favorite cat, and it still hurts. Cinnamon, my orange tabby, lived to the age of eighteen before passing away. She enjoyed a healthy and long life, which was the equivalent of 88 years in our world. Over the course of more than half of my adult life, she was my cat, and I was her human (to paraphrase the author Hillaire Belloc). She instilled in me the value of simplicity as a path to happiness, specifically the simplicity of loving, having fun, and focusing on the present moment in one’s life.
Cinnamon disproved the notion that cats are more attached to the location rather than the person by being content whenever she was with me. This held true whether we were traveling in the car, spending the night at a relative’s house, sitting on the couch watching television, or sleeping in my bed. The picture that is framed and hanging in my office has a caption that reads, “A kinder, gentler soul could not be found.” Every single day, I am reminded of how much I miss her, as well as the unending love that she brought into my life.
Cinnamon was the very first cat I ever owned. She instilled in me the wisdom that Maude gave Harold in the classic film Harold and Maude when she told him to “Go – and love some more.” To that end, I have decided to devote my hobby to finding ways to make the lives of cats easier in any way that I can. At the moment, this involves taking in strays whose paths have crossed mine and serving as Vice President of the Meriden Humane Society, which is an animal shelter that has been operating since 1893 and does not practice animal euthanasia. In their own unique ways, each of them possesses a special quality.
Over the course of the previous year, millions of animals were euthanized because there were not enough people willing to adopt them. When there are already so many cats in need of loving homes, there is no reason to resort to cloning. Countless more require assistance and care, which can be provided through acts of kindness such as rescuing animals, donating to animal causes, or volunteering at animal shelters. The author Barbara L. Diamond reflects, “I will never forget the olive-eyed tabby who taught me that not all relationships are meant to last a lifetime. I will always remember her.” Sometimes, all it takes is just one hour to leave an impression on your heart.
Despite the fact that I think about Cinnamon every single day, I am aware that cloning would only result in the production of a cat that has her appearance but is not actually Cinnamon. The cloning process replicates a person’s physical appearance but not their personality, because, as Theophile Gautier wrote, “Who can believe that there is no soul behind those luminous eyes?”
Even though I think about Cinnamon every single day, I try to take solace in the words of the Venerable Bede, which say that “death is but a horizon, and the horizon is but the limit of your sight.” In the end, I am reminded of an epitaph that can be found in a pet cemetery, and it reads as follows:
“Oh heaven will never be heaven, unless my cats are there to greet me when I arrive,” the song goes.
Therefore, I will not see you again, Cinnamon….
Gregory Simpson has been active in the field of animal welfare for over 25 years. During this time, he has held leadership positions for a number of organizations located in Connecticut and has also worked as a state advisor for the national organization Friends of Animals. He is a member of the Cat Writer’s Association in addition to being selected by CAT FANCY magazine as one of the most passionate cat lovers in the United States.
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