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Two-Faced Kitten Turns Heads (Video)

Stephanie Durkee didn’t believe her daughter when the youngster raced into the room breathless and gushing about a two-headed kitten. She replied, “I think you are just tired, you’re crazy, that doesn’t happen.” Well, it turns out the kid was right and mom was wrong – cats are prone to this two-faced disorder known as craniofacial duplication.

Craniofacial duplication is caused by a protein with an equally odd name: sonic hedgehog homolog. This protein causes a partial or entire face duplication on the head of the inflicted individual. These cats are thus also called Janus cats, a reference to the Roman God of beginnings and endings who was represented on Roman coins with two faces, one looking forward, one looking back.

After seeing for herself that this newborn kitten did indeed have two faces and that mama cat wanted nothing to do with the helpless critter, Stephanie called her vet. The vet did a health check and said other than having two faces, her kitten seemed to be fine. So Stephanie is now a surrogate mom, hand-feeding the kitten she named Duecy. Stephanie need not worry about missing a feeding however, as Duecy makes it loud and clear from both of her mouths when she is hungry. In addition to her two rosebud mouths, the kitten has four eyes and two noses, but only one set of organs, one body and one tail.

Most kittens born with this two-faced disorder rarely live more than a few days as they typically have problems nursing, are born with other complications and/or the mother rejects them.  In 2011, a Janus cat named Frank and Louie however bucked the odds and he (they?) celebrated his 12th birthday  – and was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records for being the longest lived Janus cat in the world.

Maybe, if Duecy is lucky, she will join Frank and Louie and live a long and happy life. Thus far, with Stephanie’s tender care, she is off to an auspicious start.

Related:
Two-Faced Cat Celebrates 12th Birthday
World’s Largest Cat

Read more: Behavior & Communication, Caregiving, Cats, Community, Do Good, Family, Feline Muse, Fun, Humor & Inspiration, Inspiration, Less Common Pets, Life, Make a Difference, Pet Health, Pets, Spirit, Videos, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is a mom, clean air advocate, anthropologist and feline aficionado with the nomadic habit of taking spontaneous sojourns to unusual destinations. Before her adventures in motherhood, she was an intrepid Amazon jungle guide equipped with a pair of sturdy wellingtons and a 24-inch machete, as well as a volunteer at a rainforest animal rescue center.

163 comments

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8:48AM PDT on Jul 17, 2013

thanks for sharing

11:56AM PDT on Jul 1, 2013

Oh bless it! So sad xxx

4:27PM PDT on Jun 25, 2013

:/

4:08AM PDT on Jun 25, 2013

so sad,a real little angel,thank you for sharing 25/6

3:28PM PDT on Jun 24, 2013

sad

3:14PM PDT on Jun 24, 2013

It's very sad when baby dies. RIP fur child..

1:45AM PDT on Jun 24, 2013

Желаем вам долгой и счастливой жизни

5:30AM PDT on Jun 22, 2013

RIP precious

11:01PM PDT on Jun 21, 2013

RIP

3:03PM PDT on Jun 21, 2013

I've read Duecy didn´t make it. Very sad

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