Caturday felid trifecta: A two-faced kitten; a house puma; Russian smuggles overweight cat into cabin of Aeroflot plane, gets caught (and lagniappe)

November 30, 2019 • 9:00 am

There are three short reports today, and I’m writing this well in advance, and you may be reading it while I’m in the air to Chicago. It will be automatically posted on Caturday, so I can say that the unbroken record of Caturday felid posts remains intact.

The first piece, from the Cheezburger site (click on screenshot of title), sounds a bit ghoulish, but I can see how one would learn to love this cat. It’s a four-month-old gray female kitten with two faces, unimaginatively named Duo (“Janus” would have been an improvement). And indeed, she’s been adopted—by a vet.

Here’s a photo of duo:

And an excerpt from the text:

This baby kitten has twice the cute face! With the absolute purrfect name, Duo, has been adopted by California veterinarian Dr. Ralph Tran.

Duo was born with a rare condition called diprosopus, or craniofacial duplication, which means she has one head, two mouths, two noses and four eyes.

Dr. Tran told, “Raising Duo has been an incredibly rewarding experience, and at the same time, incredibly challenging.”

Dr Trans also continued to tell PEOPLE, “Both her mouths meow separately, and both noses are fully functional.”

Now Duo is four months old, and has made amazing progress since then, including eating on her own with both of her mouths.

. . . It was said that Duo will likely have to have surgery on her middle eyes but despite the challenges her condition presents, she is the definition of ‘tiny but mighty’.

Now the link apparently has a video, but I can’t see it on this ship. does have two more photos, though:

I’m pulling for this little girl, though she’ll be hard to raise. shows a photo of what happens when Duo eats with both of her mouths, noting a remark by staff Dr. Tran: “She gets into conflicts about which mouth gets to eat, because both mouths want to eat.”

Duo struggles with weight gain, and recently had a seizure, but the site reports that otherwise the kitten seems happy and playful. (She also has a Facebook page.)  If the cat gets over its seizure and weight issues, and suffers no more problems, then euthanasia wouldn’t be indicated. And I truly help she’ll survive and thrive.

It’s not impossible for such a cat to live a long life: the famous “Janus cat” Frank and Louie (called “Frankenlouie”), who has his own Wikipedia page, lived for fifteen years, setting a record for such cats. (See a photo at CBS News). But the article adds darkly that “most janus cats die within days.” Fingers crossed for Duo.


From Whatz Viral, we hear of a “rescue puma” (Puma sp.) living as a pet in a Russian home (click on screenshot).

Messi, named after the soccer star (his brothers were called Neymar and Suarez) was sold to a zoo, but, being sickly, was unable to be looked after, and so Mariya and Aleksandr Dmitriev adopted him.

Messi, who’s still underweight, appears to be cured now, and living, doglike, in a loving home. He was taken to obedience school and appears to have learned. Here are some pictures of Messi from the Whatz Viral site:

This appears to be at obedience school:

And Messi likes to ride in the car:

The article notes this

Aleksandr says, “He convinced us with his behavior that he is a full member of our family and that he wouldn’t be doing anything bad apart from some small naughty things. He is very kind and likes contact. He gets along well with people”.

I hope that continues! I’d be a bit wary were I his staff! But think of the purr that would soothe you at night. . .


Finally, we have this piece from PuffHo about an ill-fated scheme to smuggle an overweight cat onto an Aeroflot flight.

It involves Viktor, a Tabby of Size (he weighs 22 pounds, or 10 kg):

Viktor, the Purloined Puss

Cats of Size can’t be carried in the cabin, as they won’t fit under the seat, and so a passenger devised a clever scheme to get Viktor aboard:

Russian airline Aeroflot told CNN in a statement Tuesday that it has stripped a passenger named Mikhail Galin of his frequent flyer miles after he smuggled his cat Viktor into the cabin of a plane.

Aeroflot allows pets in the cabin if they and their carrier weigh under 17.6 pounds, according to The Washington Post. But Viktor weighed in at 22 pounds during check-in, and Galin was told that his furry friend would have to travel in cargo — which has been responsible for many pet-related fatalities— for a flight from Moscow to Vladivostok.

“I was very worried that during the duration of an eight-hour flight, something would happen to him in the cargo and he wouldn’t survive the trip,” Galin, 34, told The Post.

So here’s the plot, which must have taken some surreptitious swapping; I don’t know how Galin did it:

While he was in Moscow, Galin told CNN that he published a Facebook post asking friends to help him find a smaller cat who looked like his — or a “mini Viktor.” He eventually found one named Phoebe, and with the slimmer feline body double secured, Galin used his flyer miles to book two seats in business class from Moscow to Vladivostok just days after the original flight.

On the day of the flight, Galin presented Phoebe at check-in. She made weight and was allowed to fly in the plane’s cabin.

Galin then swapped out Phoebe for Viktor before boarding the plane.

Unfortunately, Galin became a victim of his own social-media penchant, and couldn’t resist putting photos on both Instagram and Facebook of the overweight tabby in flight. Here’s part of the Instagram post, and the Facebook post is here.

As PuffHo reports:

Aeroflot told CNN that it launched an “official investigation” after Galin’s posts went viral. In retaliation, the airline has decided to kick Galin out of its loyalty program and stripped him of his airline miles for “several instances of deliberate violation” of its rules, including not checking the cat into cargo and also taking the animal out of its carrier on board.

“This information was confirmed by recording from video surveillance cameras,” the airline said in a statement to CNN. “During the preflight inspection procedure, the passenger took out a large-sized cat that looks like a photograph of the cat he posted.”

Well, there went 370,000 frequent flyer miles down the drain (Galen must travel a lot!), but he accepted responsibility and said he agreed with the punishment.

LAGNIAPPE: Corvids love to pull tails, and this magpie can’t resist going after the cat. I love the way they act all innocent when the cat looks at them, which shows that they are paying great attention to the predator’s head:

h/t: Su, Hal

12 thoughts on “Caturday felid trifecta: A two-faced kitten; a house puma; Russian smuggles overweight cat into cabin of Aeroflot plane, gets caught (and lagniappe)

  1. Look at the puma’s feet sticking out at the bottom of the bed! There is some lens distortion, but I’m feeling chuffed. This is what lens distortion is for.

    1. One morning Callie was at the foot of my bed ,i turned over and i must have caught her with my foot ,next thing she lashed out and drew blood .That is the only time she has done that .I was in the process of saying Misha ,you little sod (because that is the type of thing he does ) when i saw it was Callie ,bit of a shock it was .

      Anyway I hope that guy is a bit more careful than i was .

      Misha is over his bout of Cystitis ,finished the antibiotics he was on because he had been fighting again ,just got to carry on with the stuff i sprinkle over his food for another week .

      Pain in the bottom cats are .

  2. “Of Size”

    I wasn’t familiar with the term but assumed it was a euphemism for “fat” or “obese.” Urban Dictionary proved my surmise correct — not a difficult guess, but I can’t beat around the bush, Viktor is a Behemoth, and any descriptor of his size deserves a capital letter.

    The second sentence in the definition (2010) states that it is “Soon to be adopted by airlines who have to be careful not to overfill their flights.”

    1. We had a cat in grad school “of size”. He had a quite strong/large build to begin with, but we gave him a ‘sweet sixteen’ party when he hit 16 lb., a “legal adult” party when he hit 18 lb., and then another when he hit 21 lb.

      With help from a pint-sized friend, he could knock over one of those big rubbermaid tubs in which pet owners typically store large bags of dog food. We stored cat food in it. And there were several days where we came home to find it tipped over, with food spilling out.

      When my roommate finally put him on a diet, he used one of those automatic twice/day cat feeders. Percy destroyed it on day 2 – knocked it around the room until both doors opened. Very sweet cat though.

  3. The poor, poor little sod. I had absolutely no idea that cats like Duo even existed, never mind lived longer than a few minutes after birth. It’s heartbreaking to look at her, think of her having seizures, think of how frightened a lot of people will be of touching Duo, think of how frightened SHE will be, and confused by general day-to-day life.

    Duo’s existence is more evidence that there is no god…while the fact that people have taken Duo in, and promised to care for her and look after her, is more evidence that we don’t need god anyway.

    1. An indication of what Veterinarians do or can do everyday. They make decisions concerning animals that no other medical persons can do or are allowed to do. Remarkable people.

    2. I’ve always found it sad to wonder why so many animals are perfectly viable in utero and then when they take the next “step” in the wonder of life (their birth), they cannot make it.

      As for this “poor wee creature”, I wonder what does this? Is it related to the polydactyl that is common in cats?

  4. I would sleep very uneasily with a puma in the house! I abide by the rule that you should never have a pet that can kill you in seconds, especially if it’s a wild animal. It looks like Messi has been socialized since kittenhood, but surely his hunting instincts are still there, so other pets he encounters on walks and at obedience school have been very lucky so far. In any case, I wish Messi’s caretakers the best of luck.

    1. Dear revelator60:

      I agree with you 100%. If a zoo cannot (or will not) take a beautiful animal like this Puma, particularly since it appears that these private owners have cured the animal, it’s a very sad day.

      I suspect that zoos in Russia look differently at these types of situations, compared to zoos in the US. What an excellent education animal this Puma would make at a zoo!

      Keeping this “wild” Puma as a pet is disastrous decision. These types of animals can never really be domesticated, and what eventually happens, in so many of these cases, is that the animal attacks its owners or someone else and has to be put down. Since the animal cannot be released back into the wild, a zoo is really the safest options. There must be a zoo somewhere outside of Russia that will take this animal.

  5. Our ruling corvids, a family of scrub jays terrorized Old Cat [and his magnificent tail] for fifteen years. The jays were puzzled by our current feline Sierra. Sierra, with no evident tail and a taste for rodents rather than fledgling birds, seems to have constructed a Long Peace with the jays.

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