Cat Bred for Blindness in the Name of Science

By Adele

Humans have added cats’ DNA to what they’ve “decoded” from dogs, chimps, vermin, and cows. Just think how far this has already advanced mankind. Not.


Cinnamon, a 4-year-old Abyssinian, was the poor schmuck they “volunteered” to participate in this feckless pursuit. She had been living quietly (caged, probably) in a lab cat colony at the University of Missouri.

Cinnamon’s heritage is a long line of lab cats bred to develop retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that Cinnamon has inherited. One in 3,500 humans gets it, too. But they aren’t specifically conceived, as Cinnamon was, to slowly go blind.

Cinnamon is reportedly shy and withdrawn. She sits around, not playing with the other guinea pigs – uh, lab cats – and doesn’t vie for the lab staff’s attention. I can’t blame her if she feels depressed and confused. She’s probably watching her world slowly fade to black until she wakes up one day unable to find her food bowl.

Why would anyone, except perhaps a dog lover, do this to a cat? The scientists claim cats get 200 human-like diseases, such as AIDS, SARS, diabetes, retinal disease and spina bifida, so by studying us, they can find cures. If that’s true, what’s taken them so long to get around to it? I think what they really want to know is:

· How we sleep 23 ½ hours a day, yet are always alert.

· How we can leap many times our height from a casual standing position.

· Why we almost never fall on our heads.

· How we turn doorknobs without opposable thumbs.

· How we can hear someone thinking about opening a can of tuna.

Cinnamon apparently didn’t provide one gene her tormenters wanted to study – the domestication gene. The next time a lab assistant touches her, I hope she takes a huge chunk out of him, just to remind them she’s still in touch with her roots.


3 Responses to Cat Bred for Blindness in the Name of Science

  1. Tuxi says:

    GRRR! This figuratively gets my goat! My mom Joan signs every petition she can find and relishes the section where she can add to the letter to tell these collegiate and professional neanderthal scientists to get with the picture and use computer models for medical and pharmaceutical research, and also to stop cosmetic and chemical testing on ALL ANIMALS!

  2. Tuxi says:

    Just to remind every human to check all liquid soap and shampoo containers to see if they are marked as not tested on animals! St. Ives, Jheri Redding, Paul Mitchell and Nexxus are all marked as are many other good regional brands. There is no reason that any animal has to be harmed in any testing and research! Use those teeth and sharp claws Cinammon! You go girl!

  3. catsworking says:

    Boy, Tuxi, you are really digging into the archives with this one! We just read that researchers have discovered that some dogs have a gene that makes them have OCD. Well, DUH!

    We agree with you that testing on animals is cruel and pointless. On the other paw, we have no objection to testing on rodents.

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