Frank and Louie, a fluffy ragdoll, is a two-faced cat and not the insincere or backstabbing kind. He has a rare disorder called Janus, which means he has two faces.
Most cats born with this disorder generally live a day, but Frank and Louie is now twelve years old, thanks to a vet assistant and a strong constitution. Shortly after he was a day old, his original caregiver brought him in for the vet to euthanized, but the vet assistance took pity on him and took him home. No one thought he would live even four days, which is the outside lifespan of cats born with Janus.
He has two mouths, but he uses only one for eating. He has one brain, two ears, and three eyes, with only two operational, as well as two noses.
The word Janus came from the Greeks.
The term Janus cat was borrowed from Janus, the Roman God of beginnings and endings who was represented on Roman coins with two faces, one looking forward, one looking back.
However, this condition, also called diprosopus, or craniofacial duplication, can happen in humans too.
Diprosopus occurs in humans as well as animals; the most notable recent case occurred in India in 2008. A baby girl named Lali Singh was born with two complete faces — doubles of everything, with one body — and she was something of a media sensation in her small village. Sadly, two months after her birth she died of a heart attack. Most babies with the disorder are stillborn.
Scientists believe the disorder is cause by Sonic Hedgehog Homolog, which has a corresponding gene and caused by protein. These Sonic Hedgehog proteins are responsible for signalling proper development of limbs and organs during embryonic development. Too little causes cyclopia, which is one eye or Cyclops appearance.
Given that no human or cat generally survives this disorder, Frank and Louie is one lucky cat to live so far 12 years, breaking a record, and could live to be an average age for most cats. He is a cool dude, who loves car rides and walks on a leash.
What does Marty, his caregiver, say about him?
"Every day is kind of a blessing."
His twelfth birthday was September 8. Happy belated birthday, Frank and Louie, and hopefully you will have many more.