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Meow meow. Two-faced cat wins place in record book

September 29, 2011 |  5:57 pm

Two-faced kitty

We all know cats have nine lives, but ... two faces?

Meet Frank and Louie, a rare cat known as a Janus who has earned a place in the 2012 Guinness World Records book as the oldest-living two-faced feline. 

Luckily for Frank and Louie's owner, who according to media reports lives in Worcester, Mass., the cat has only one stomach and one brain, so he doesn't require extra food to fill two bellies and has no split personality issues. He eats with just one of two mouths and does not have to worry about his three eyes making life confusing. Only two of them -- one on each face -- work, while the middle one just stares ahead, giving Frank and Louie perfect vision despite the somewhat cyclops-like appearance. 

But love is blind, and Frank and Louie's owner loves him -- or them -- so much that she may have contributed to the cat's unusually long life.

When she rescued Frank and Louie from being euthanized 12 years ago, Marty -- who asked not to have her last name published for privacy's sake -- was warned that such cats rarely survive long because of problems linked to their condition, which is the result of a congenital defect, according to various media reports. But she "stood by the cat, and I'm really glad she did because this cat really has fewer problems than many cats that have very normal anatomies," said Armelle deLaforcade, head of the emergency services section at Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, the Associated Press reported.

Marty was working there 12 years ago when the cat's owner brought the animal in to be euthanized. She brought him home and spent three months feeding him through tubes. As he grew, she said Frank and Louis developed a "very, very laid back" personality and is more dog-like than cat-like. He walks on a leash and loves riding in the car, she said while stroking the cat's silky coat. "Every day is kind of a blessing."

The technical term for the cat's condition is craniofacial duplication, or diprosopia, which can cause part or all of an individual's face to be duplicated. Such cats are called Janus, after the Roman god with two faces.

-- Tina Susman in New York


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Photo: Frank and Louie is cuddled by his owner. Credit: Steven Senne /Associated Press