Associated Press (AP): It was bound to happen. For the last 7.75 years of Empress Kukka-Maria's life, there have been squillions of people desiring a cat just like her. What no one expected, however, was the lengths people would go to make that happen.
"I remember the day I became aware of Kukka's existence. I had stumbled upon her blog and was enamored. Her piercing eyes, her indifferent expression and judgmental outlook on life were captivating! I knew, at first sight, that she would be mine," explains Ken Merriweather of Lubbock, Texas, from his prison cell. After six months of fantastical stalking, Merriweather was arrested and convicted of feline endangerment and conspiracy to kidnap a celebrity cat.
Many people have tried to duplicate Kukka-Maria (by creating cardboard cutouts and even painting their cats grey and white), but until Claude Gauthier, celebrated French eugenicist, successfully engineered a Kukka replica in 2001, the idea of owning one's very own Empress was just a dream.
"I knew the demand was out there," recalls Gauthier. "Even I had a secret desire to have my own Kukka-Maria. It was this craving that drove my research and, ultimately, helped me perfect a process to create mini-Kukkas for mass distribution."
Retailing for $10,000, the Kukka-Clone® Brand is considered the Ferrari of Felines. The features that are standard on the basic model are: Bitchy Disposition, Incessant Whining, Insistence on Physical Attention, and Foul Air Biscuits. If you are willing to spend the extra money for the Deluxe and Foxy models, you can select from the following optional features: Domination of the Bed, Claw Sharpening on the Carpet, Surgically Enhanced Multiple Nipples, Bad Breath and D-List Celebrity Connections. "We are working diligently to improve the celebrity connections feature," points out Gauthier. "Instead of exchanging emails with Screech, from 'Saved by the Bell,' one day we hope to include a friendship with A-list stars like Brad Pitt or George Clooney with the purchase of every Kukka-Clone® feline friend."
"We are shocked and disappointed at the insensitivity and self-serving approach of Kukka-Clone® Labs," asserts Misty Masterson, executive director of "Normal Cats are People, Too," a shelter for abandoned sub-standard cats. "The number of unwanted animals that are brought to our organization every day is growing. We have over 500 cats at our facilities whose only flaw is that they don't look like Kukka-Maria. What's worse is that they are basically considered unadoptable because of this perceived genetic defect."
Kukka-Clone® Labs is not surprised that Kukka copies are flying off the shelves. "I knew that if I could crack the genetic coding for Empress Kukka-Maria, the demand would be there and the cash would follow," bemuses Gaulthier. "I must admit, I was looking forward to hoarding all the profits, but Kukka, with the giant but completely underutilized heart she has, demanded we donate a portion of every sale to charity.
"Giving back to my animal community is important to me," Kukka explains with a tight-lipped smile and a patronizing look in her eyes. "That's why $1 from every $10,000 Kukka reproduction purchase goes to 'The Kukka Treat Fund,' a charity I started in 2003 to raise money for snacks for me. I've always said there is just no substitute for a generous heart!"
While some people purchase a Kukka copy to play with and love on and cuddle, others are merely displaying their cats in china cabinets for safe keeping. "I would never consider allowing my Kukka-Clone® to roam freely, look out the windows, or GOD FORBID rough-house and risk injury. I keep her far away from direct sunlight so her fur won't fade and I've never removed her tags so she remains in pristine condition."
"What will happen if this continues and they actually perfect the Kukka-Clone®?" questions Misty Masterson. "While the cats today are only moderately-sexy and can merely obtain D-list celebrity friendships, over time this can change dramatically! We are already seeing a great deal of disdain for 'regular' and 'run-of-the-mill' cats--a movement we call Kukka Glorification. Kittens nowadays are being inundated with pro-tabby messages and the Tuxedo, Sphynx, Calico and Siamese teens are taking a hit to their self-esteem. This disgusting smear campaign needs to stop!"
In an interview on the set of her most recent Kukka-Clone® commercial, The Empress expressed concern for the abandoned and dejected non-tabby population. "Hey, it's not my fault they can't be like me. Suck it!"
Listening to her sing the jingle, adapted from her stint with the Pussycat Dolls, it was clear she was proud of the Kukka-Clone® product and, quite frankly, herself.
"Don't cha wish your feline was hot like me?
Don't cha wish your feline was a freak like me?
Don't cha wish your feline was raw like me?
Don't cha wish your feline was fun like me?
Suck it, indeed!
(If you live in or around Grand Rapids, MI and would be interested in adopting the actual kitten pictured above, simply click on his photo and check out his details! For some reason, they are letting him go for far less than the recommended $10,000!)