An ultrasound showed that one of Toshi’s kidneys had atrophied and was essentially deceased. The other was enlarged, taking on the work of its dearly departed twin, and, as such, was incredibly stressed. Eventually, the vet said, it would fail. Within the year, probably. He seemed unmoved by the tears falling down my face.
I asked about kidney transplants. They were possible, said the vet, but they required a slew of tests, surgery that ran into the tens of thousands of dollars and the adoption of the feline donor who, presumably, had been raised for that very purpose.
When Mr. Cheng, who works as a technology auditor for a Wall Street investment bank, discovered that Shadow had a tumor that would soon prove fatal, he had the cat’s cells saved, cultured and frozen. Now, he is preparing for the next step: paying for Shadow’s cloned replacement. “I’m saving up some money,” he said. “It’s a lot like buying a car.”
Mr. Cheng said that he would pay whatever it cost – although he is waiting until the price drops a bit – because he misses his cat so. “Shadow had two really long, funny-looking teeth like sabers,” he said. “Everyone loved him.”