Do We Really Need Fluorescent Cats?

By Adele

Even after a $2 billion presidential campaign, there’s no end to what humans will throw money at. Take Mr. Green Genes. He’s a 6-month-old orange tabby who’s been genetically rigged so his face glows lime-green under ultraviolet light.

(Photo - Rusty Costanza, Newhouse News Service)

(Photo - Rusty Costanza, Newhouse News Service)

Since cats see perfectly well in the dark, turning us into walking night lights is a useless mutation unless we ever decide to revive Disco.

So why do it? Researchers claim cat genes are like humans’, so they wanted to introduce a harmless (?!) new one they could easily track to see if their experiments work. They hope it will lead to human gene therapy breakthroughs, particularly in treating cystic fibrosis.

Meanwhile, this hapless cat, named after Captain Kangaroo’s sidekick on an ancient children’s TV show, has been enduring 15 minutes of fame. He wows ‘em merely by sitting there while somebody shines a black light on him. I caught his act on the Today Show recently. Humans are so easily amused.

They think Genes’ “business” glows in the dark as well, but so far no researcher has dared to “dig in” and find out if that’s true.

Genes came from a fertilized egg spiked with the fluorescent gene that was implanted into a surrogate mother, and he already has issues. For example, he doesn’t care for strangers or like being held unless it’s his idea.

Next, they plan to let him mate. His girlfriend will be in for a shock if her kittens glow.

Then the head researcher wants to take him home to live happily ever after with her other 2 cats. For Genes’ sake, I hope they don’t mind living with FrankenCat.


2 Responses to Do We Really Need Fluorescent Cats?

  1. Mauigirl says:

    It is pretty bizarre. Although it doesn’t sound as if Genes’ personality was really affected – how many cats do you know who want to be held if it’s not their idea? 😉

  2. catsworking says:

    Since Genes was born fluorescent and doesn’t know any better (until he’s cuddling up with his new girlfriend and notices her tongue isn’t bright green) I guess there’s no way of telling if he’s an oddball or not.

    You’re right. The cats who are into cuddling are a distinct minority.

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