Cloning is the most advanced technology in biology, and it is also a possibility for human beings to break free from the hands of God. Urban people who are unable to face parting are now applying this technology to pets to clone a cat or dog exactly the same, which brings great comfort to humans who have lost their pets.
On the day when I first met Xiao Di, Huihui and her boyfriend took a four-hour train ride through the endless wilderness to the Scottish border. I got off the bus at a place where I couldn't even find the stop sign, and climbed the mountain road for another hour, finally arrived at the farm.
As soon as we met, Xiao Di, who was more than a month old, ran over crookedly and bit her heel lightly. Looking at her with big watery eyes, Huihui's heart melted.
It was the summer of 2013. Huihui and her boyfriend wanted to raise a Border Collie as a commemorative study in the UK.
Soon, Xiao Di became the most special existence in Huihui's heart. Dogs love to open their homes, and Xiao Di will specially pick Huihui's clothes to bite. Looking at the mess in the closet, Huihui was angry and funny.
But Xiao Di is especially fond of Huihui, sleeping in her arms every night. If not, Xiao Di stretched out two paws and pulled the edge of the bed, looking at her pitifully. Huihui's heart was softened, Xiaodi saw her expression change, and immediately grinned half of her mouth, showing one of her teeth, looking ruffian.
"Mom loves you, good night." After saying this, Huihui hugged Xiao Di to sleep for more than 5 years.
After returning to China, Xiaodi followed Huihui to Beijing and Hangzhou to witness her and her boyfriend's marriage. In April of this year, Huihui was busy with work, so she had to temporarily put Xiao Di at his parents' house and raise him with a Labrador.
Xiao Di is more humane when he grows up. Huihui's father had a bad throat, and he often coughed while brushing his teeth. Every time Xiao Di jumped off the sofa with a sharp spirit, squatting nervously on the side and staring at him brushing his teeth.
Huihui’s mother had to fix the time in the morning and walk the dog before going to work. Xiao Di will consciously pick up the collar and sit aside obediently and wait, without causing her a little trouble.
Huihui feels relieved that Xiao Di is living with her parents, always thinking about picking her up after finishing her work. Until the early morning of April 23, my mother called three times in succession, "Xiao Di is going to die."
In a rush, the couple had no time to change their pajamas, and rushed to their parents' house in slippers. After driving the first road, there is another red light ahead. The fourth call came: Xiao Di was dead.
Huihui hung up the phone subconsciously, and his brain exploded. A dazzling red light flashed in front of my eyes, and my husband asked, "Do you want to run the red light?"
Her chin trembled slightly, her fists were squeezed, and she stared forward motionlessly: "No, no need."
A few hours ago, my mother received the PPT from Huihui, turned on the computer and edited it for more than forty minutes. Seeing that it was about to work, she hurriedly got up and went to the kitchen to feed the dog.
There was a large piece of hard sauced beef in the kitchen. She chopped up the meat and fed it to the two dogs, then ran back to the room to change clothes. Most of the leftover meat was forgotten on the chopping board.
Before she could finish freshening up, there was the sound of two dogs fighting in the kitchen. She ran out quickly and saw that Xiao Di was snatching the big piece of beef from Labrador's mouth.
Xiao Di realized that he had made a mistake and swallowed the fist-sized beef into his mouth in a panic. She intended to get under the sofa, but she collapsed on the ground as she walked, with a trace of saliva at the corner of her mouth, and then began to spit.
When Huihui rushed in, Xiaodi was collapsing on the sofa with the piece of beef that caused the trouble. Her body is warm and soft, her nose is wet and her tongue is still healthy bright red.
I made many calls to hospitals, but they didn't open the door. The doctor instructed them to lie on their side, hold the position of the chest cavity under the elbow, and give artificial respiration from the nose while pressing.
The family hurriedly started first aid. Huihui stayed up all night to do the PPT, and was weak and sat on the ground. She firmly believed that Xiao Di could hear the voice, and kept crying: "Xiao Di, don't sleep, mom needs you, you can't go..."
Xiao Di never wakes up. After more than an hour, her tongue slowly turned purple, her pupils began to dilate, her body gradually became cold, and her feet became stiff. Only then did Huihui realize that Xiao Di was really dead.
The food and drawers of the refrigerator freezer were all thrown out. Huihui's eyes were red and swollen, and while crying, he stuffed Xiao Di's body in with her husband.
Hangzhou had already become sultry in April, but for a long time, the body gave off a faint smell. Because of his huge body, Xiao Di could only be stuffed into the refrigerator vertically, blood dripping from the corner of his mouth, stained with frost. A trace of cold air drifted outward, mixed with tears, and blurred Huihui's eyes.
After contacting the crematorium, while waiting, my husband suddenly said, "Isn't there a clone?"
Huihui's whole person is still in a erratic state. He raised his head and asked him: "Xiao Di is dead, can he clone?"
After her husband reminded her, she only remembered that she saw a hot search during the Spring Festival this year, "Shanghai Girl Clone Love Pet". Huihui also laughed and said in the future that Xiaodi will be cloned when he is old.
With the little sobriety left, the couple acted immediately. Searching the entire network, I found that there are only two commercial cloning organizations in the world: one is South Korea’s "Sooam" and the other is China’s "Hino Valley".
剩下一点清醒，这对夫妻立即采取了行动。搜索整个网络，我发现世界上只有两个商业克隆组织：一个是韩国的“ Sooam”，另一个是中国的“ Hino Valley”。
The company has opened a Taobao store, which is easy to find. The customer service told them that it could be cloned, but the price was 380,000 yuan.
Huihui took a breath. She has always been frugal. She has not bought a luxury item in the UK for more than 5 years, and they only have 130,000 deposits on hand. How can we make up the remaining 250,000? Before she could think about it so much, she only knew that if Xiao Di was cremated like this, they would regret it forever.
Husband urged her: "Do you want to clone?" Huihui sat for a while, gritted his teeth and said, "Do!"
They put Xiao Di in the refrigerator as required by the customer service of the Taobao store. A veterinarian would come and take away a piece of Xiao Di's skin early the next morning. The cell with the gene will be frozen and stored, waiting to enter a new oocyte, and eventually a dog exactly like Xiao Di will be born.
The couple hurriedly called the funeral home to postpone the cremation until 7 pm the next day. Then he guiltyly made up an excuse to tell his parents not to go home first.
On the way to the funeral home, the navigation happened to pass by the park where they played Xiaodi most often. So they folded into the lake and took a full circle around the lake.
When he arrived at the funeral home, Huihui held Xiao Di and was reluctant to let go. The staff urged her to be cremated and said that she must burn the big dog first. Huihui could only cut off a bunch of Xiaodi's hair and put it into the bag.
That was the first time she experienced the cremation of a "relative". Xiao Di was pushed into the stove, and Huihui sat by the stove. Others persuaded her that the ashes smell bad, which is bad for the human body. Huihui couldn't listen, Xiaodi burned for two hours, and she sat by the fire for two hours.
On the way back, Huihui started thinking for the first time, what is life and death? On the way here, she sat in the car and touched the stiff Xiao Di, feeling that Xiao Di hadn't left yet. When she returned, Xiao Di suddenly became a pile of ashes in the container, and she had to face her leaving.
All the memories in the United Kingdom and Beijing gradually disappeared with Xiao Di's departure. For Huihui, losing Xiao Di seems to have lost a part of itself.
Huihui’s childhood memories are very bleak. Her parents are well-known doctors, so she can’t care about anything when she is busy with work. She can only cook instant noodles at home when she is hungry. When she was 8 years old, the skewer dog bought by her parents became her only partner and spent 9 years with her.
When he went abroad at the age of 19, in the first year in the UK, Huihui suffered two burglaries and the house was looted. Sitting alone in the middle of the house, she cried and told her mother that she wanted to go home. The mother just calmly comforted her: "My child, you should close the doors and windows now and get a good night's sleep."
The next day, her mother asked her if she still wanted to go home? Huihui said, no more.
When she first saw Xiao Di's photo, Xiao Di was only one month old, with cleverness and wildness gleaming in her amber pupils, sitting alone in the firewood with his head tilted. Huihui seemed to see herself back then.
When Xiao Di was young, Huihui and her boyfriend went out to buy groceries, and she often fostered her in her roommate's room. When Xiao Di was sleepy, she drooped her head and shook her, why she refused to sleep until Huihui came back. When Huihui quarrels with her boyfriend, Xiao Di will hide under the bed in fright, making Huihui feel distressed every time.
Later, she rarely left Xiao Di alone at home, and always tried her best to accompany her. It seemed that her lonely childhood would be compensated in some way.
In their last year in the UK, they had to face the upcoming separation. Boyfriend graduated early and returned home. Huihui paid the rent for the second half of the year and returned home. When he came back, the door lock was suddenly changed.
She went to negotiate with the landlord, but told her viciously that she must move out with the dog within three days.
After returning to the apartment, Huihui was trembling with anger, Xiaodi ran over to paw her and rubbed her neck with his head, as if to comfort her. At that moment, she made up her mind to bring Xiao Di back to China as soon as possible no matter what.
The procedures for bringing a pet back to the country are very complicated. Many procedures cannot be done in the small town where the Huihui is located, so she took Xiao Di on foot for an hour or two to get a vaccine in the next town. When I came back, it was dark and there were no street lights, and she led Xiao Di home in the dark night.
After tossing for more than a month, Xiao Di finally vomited all the way because of motion sickness. The airport staff looked at Huihui vigilantly: Are you dog abuse? Xiao Di bumped all the way, excited, coughing slightly. If you get on the plane like this, you will probably die.
After many negotiations, the airport finally agreed: Xiao Di will stay at the airport for observation for 3 days, and then send him to the plane after he is fine. Huihui also signed a life and death agreement: If the pet dies, the airline will not be responsible. Air transport of pets is inevitable, and Huihui may lose Xiaodi at any time.
The appointed time has passed, but Huihui hasn't waited for Xiaodi. Xiao Di was forgotten in the cabin when changing planes in Russia. When it was taken out, it was too late for the next flight. On the next flight, there is either a full warehouse or no aerobic luggage compartment. After staying at the airport for many days, after finally waiting for the right flight, Xiao Di stood in front of Huihui again and grinned smirkly.
After returning home, there was less and less time for Xiao Di. Huihui loves toss, she created a public welfare social organization, and registered a new company to prepare to start a business, and various competition road shows are endless. At the busiest time, she could only put Xiao Di at her parents' house.
Xiao Di, who was in foster care, became a little depressed. She didn't like to make trouble too much, and she often hid under the sofa, only showing a big tail outside, and she didn't respond to any calls. Huihui often visits her, but every time she leaves, Xiao Di gets under the sofa angrily and refuses to come out to say goodbye.
On April 22, the night before Xiao Di's death, Huihui was about to leave. Uncharacteristically, Xiao Di sat at the gate and blocked the door, and couldn't drag him away.
Huihui gritted his teeth and said cruelly to Xiaodi: "You stay a few more days, we will pick you up on May Day."
Xiao Di lowered his head and walked away silently.
Huihui went home and made a PPT all night. It happened to be the time when her mother was feeding the dog. The PPT that indirectly led to Xiao Di's death became a knot in her heart.
She started to suffer from insomnia all night, even when she fell asleep, Xiao Di was wagging her tail at her in her dreams, hanging her collar around her to play. The hormones of anorexia and sleeping pills made her lose weight. Mother's persuasion was ineffective, so she had to accompany her to put on makeup and take her to the competition. When she arrived at the scene, Huihui couldn't get on stage at all, and social organizations and new companies were half stagnant.
Huihui tried to divert her grief. She began to watch "Interstellar" all night and all night, hoping that there would be parallel universes and multidimensional spaces where Xiaodi would be waiting for her. She even forced herself to believe in religion and reincarnation.
But everything is in vain.
The mother with a strong personality feels distressed and anxious. She only feels that she is not mature enough. She asks her all day long: "Xiao Di is your child, then when will you give birth to a real child?"
No one understands her, and no one can fill the huge hole in her life.
She watched "Manchester by the Sea" several times. The male protagonist in the movie burned several children to death because of negligence, and chose not to forget and spend the rest of his life with pain.
"Why do people have to conquer themselves? Force yourself to accept death. If you don't accept it, can you not accept it?" Huihui thought this all day, and Clone Xiaodi became her only way of relief.
The days of waiting for the clone are extremely suffering.
On the second day of Xiao Di's death, the veterinarian took a small piece of Xiao Di's skin, put in tissue fluid and sent it to Beijing. After establishing cultured cells in the laboratory, 95% of the cells tested for cell viability were still alive. Huihui originally planned to store the cells in an environment of -196°C for 3 years, and there is a gap of 250,000 yuan in cloning costs, which is almost 3 years.
But she couldn't wait that long. Two months later, Huihui convinced her parents to lend them 250,000. The couple made an IOU and repaid a monthly mortgage of 6,000 yuan.
In the faint blue picture of the microscope, the nucleus is pushed into the mature enucleated oocyte. After cell fusion, a series of complicated operations are required to obtain activated cloned embryos. The embryo will develop and implant in the womb of the surrogate bitch. After 2 months, Huihui will get a small "Xiao Di".
The difficulty of cloning a dog is very high. The oocytes of a dog have a window period of only a few hours from maturity to aging, and the first dog is cloned until the 217th experiment. The success rate of embryo transfer is only about 50%. The staff usually transfer the cloned embryos to the wombs of two surrogate dogs, and often only one is successfully conceived. The Beijing laboratory is lined up with dog cages, which contain bitches waiting to create new lives.
For each cloned dog, 10 to 30 supply dogs are needed to provide oocytes. The cloning company breeds more than 1,000 internationally recognized experimental beagle dogs. The cost and continuation of life are fermented in the same laboratory.
After less than two years of commercialization attempts, more and more pet lovers began to pay attention to cloning technology after opening Taobao stores. The company has received more than 50 orders, and more than 60% of the orders come from pet dog owners.
The first commercial cloned dog was born in May 2018. It was an inexpensive string dog, and the owner was reluctant to leave and chose to clone. The most valuable dog is the star "juice" who has appeared in movies such as "Heart Flower" and "Villain Angel".
The most special breed is the "Huahuang Horse", an outstanding police dog. It has won first-class merit, and can trace the place where the suspect once lived through blood stains, footprints and other information. From it, "Kun Xun" became China's first police cloned working dog.
Human cloning is strictly forbidden by scientists around the world because of sad ethics. Pet cloning is also inevitable.
A friend asked Huihui: "Aren't you deceiving yourself? It's not Xiao Di at all, and there is no memory of Xiao Di. Do you plan to treat it as Xiao Di? Or Xiao Di's child? Sister? Or a copy?"
Huihui also knows that the cloned is not real Xiaodi, but she still hopes to have a small "Xiaodi". The cost of 380,000 yuan is not small for her, but she is willing to use the money to exchange for another companionship in the long years to come.
She always felt that Xiao Di gave her a signal on the day of cremation. Xiao Di's body was too big, and when he burned, he fell to one side restlessly, and many bones fell into the gap. The staff cleaned up twice and removed many bones, put them in the urn and sealed them.
Before leaving, Huihui was worried, and asked her husband to take another look, and found a large piece of intact gum bone from the gap.
When Xiao Di was proud, he would grin half of his mouth with a grin and show half of his teeth, with a stubborn expression.
That bone is the one that was exposed when it laughed.
Author | Bai Ling
author | bailing