This is bizarre, but of course I’m compelled to post it. There is a cat in Massachusetts that has two faces and two names: Frank and Louie. He (they?) has a congenital condition, craniofacial duplication that has caused part of his face to be present in in multiple copies: F&L has three eyes (only two of which can see), two mouths, two noses, but only one esophagus and brain. According to Reuters, such “Janus cats” usually live only four days on average, but F&L is 12. And according to the Guinness Book of World Records, Frank and Louie is the world’s oldest two-faced cat.
“When he was first born, every day was a blessing,” Marty told a local radio station on Tuesday.
She immediately adopted Frank and Louie. The cat has one brain so both faces act in unison. Two of his eyes — the outermost ones — are normal, while the middle eye is larger but doesn’t function.
The cat eats on the right side, using Frank’s face, which is connected to his esophagus, while Louie’s nose twitches at the same time, his owner said.
Marty told the local radio station that the cat is more like a dog because it walks on a leash and loves car rides.”
And oh hai, there’s a video; do watch it because it’s sort of heartwarming and not traumatizing at all:
The condition, called diprosopus, is also seen in humans (I’ll mercifully spare you the photos), and is apparently caused by an overexpression of the sonic hedgehog gene, an important control gene in patterning many parts of the body. The protein is involved in widening the face, and when present in larger-than-normal quantities can widen one face into two.