Caturday felid trifecta: Frank and Louis, the two-faced cat; spending the night with cheetahs; crow learns to meow for cat food

February 13, 2021 • 10:00 am

After having written the title as “Caturday felid triefecat”, I realized that moving the “a” one place back in “trifecta” produced my misspelling. Coincidence? I think not.

We begin this week’s offering with a video of Frank-and-Louie, a “Janus cat” born with two faces. These cats rarely live very long, but this one went a full fifteen years.  You may think he’s grotesque, but clearly his owner loved him. Here’s some information from YouTube:

Frank and Louie is a cat who was born with two faces, so he has two names. Does that mean he has 18 lives?

It almost seems so now that he has earned a spot as the longest lived Janus cat in the new edition of the Guinness World Records (Guinness has dropped the word “book” from the name in this digital age).

The cat’s owner is a Worcester woman named Marty Stevens who has owned Frank and Louie since a local breeder brought him into Tufts Veterinary Clinic to be euthanized when he was a day old. Marty was a veterinary nurse at Tufts at the time and offered to take him home.

The prognosis, however, was not good. Janus cats, named after the Roman god with two faces, are extremely rare and seldom live more than a few days after being born. Often they die within hours. But under Marty’s dedicated care Frank and Louie flourished. He turned 12 years old on Sept. 8.

Frank and Louie has two mouths, two noses and two normal eyes with one larger non-functioning eye in the center. “That was the first eye to open up when he was two days old so I had a little Cyclops for a while,” Marty said. That’s not an endearing image, and, as often happens with animals and even people who are not exactly like everyone else, Frank and Louie often draws a shocked reaction from onlookers. But that first impression quickly fades.

“He’s just so affectionate and sweet he usually wins people over,” Marty said.

The cat has two faces, but only one head and brain, so the faces react in unison and not as separate entities. Also, two faces doesn’t mean two cans of cat food every morning. The cat’s right side — or Frank’s side — is connected to an esophagus while Louie’s isn’t, so Frank eats for two.

If you look at the cat from the left he looks completely normal. Look at him from the right and he does as well. It is only when you look straight at him that you can see how unusual he is.

Read more about Frank and Louie, two-faced cat at http://www.telegram.com/article/20110…

Frank and Louie, two-faced cat dies at 15 years http://www.telegram.com/article/20141…

Here’s another video, and a bit longer:

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Reader Peter sent me this video. The guy doesn’t just have heater cats, but three heater cheetahs!

Peter notes, “I don’t know if that’s purring at around the five minute mark, but I choose to believe it is!” I think it is indeed!

Now I don’t know if this place takes good care of its animals, so don’t chastise me if it’s an exploitative operation. When I finally do get my “Big Cat Experience,” I’m going to choose a place with a good reputation that treats its animals properly.

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Lots of crows have learned to imitate cats (just do a Google video search for “crow sounds like cat”), but this one is eerily accurate. Click on the Dodo article to read about it and see the crow meowing:

This takes place in Turkey, the world’s most cat-loving nation.  Some background:

Since settling in to her new place in Turkey, animal lover Neslihan Orancı has been leaving food out on the patio for local cats to eat. Nowadays, when the food runs low, the cats let her know — meowing at her door for a refill.

Evidently, this routine didn’t go unnoticed. Unbeknownst to Neslihan and her feline visitors, a certain someone had been watching them from afar.

And he was taking notes.

One day, Neslihan was at home when that familiar sound caught her ear: meowing from outside. It seemed that one of those hungry cats had arrived to find the food bowl empty, and was now asking her for more.

But, looking through the window, Neslihan quickly discovered that it wasn’t a cat. It was actually a crow who’d cleverly learned to meow so he could get free food, too.

“I was very surprised,” Naslihan told The Dodo. “I’ve never heard a crow speak like a cat!”

Here’s the video from Facebook. OMG!

After the initial shock subsided, Neslihan of course gave the crow some food. And then she noticed he’d picked up other cat vocabulary.

“As he ate, he made the sound of an angry cat, the one cats make when they’re fighting,” Neslihan said, “so that any cats around would be scared away.”

The crow’s cat-speak was so convincing, it’s possible he’d been pulling this brilliant ruse for a while without Neslihan noticing. She doesn’t mind though; to her, he deserves to be rewarded for his cleverness.

“It’s very thought-provoking,” Neslihan said. “Cats learned to communicate with us over thousands of years of domestication. But the crow learned it quickly, and for the same gain. It seems they could decode our language before we understand theirs!”

h/t: Chris, Matt

6 thoughts on “Caturday felid trifecta: Frank and Louis, the two-faced cat; spending the night with cheetahs; crow learns to meow for cat food

    1. Yes, it is the Eurasian jay, Garulus glandarius. Although they are known for their rather unpleasant alarm call, they have in fact a very diversified and riche vocal repertoire, including various imitations.

        1. They definitely should have said “corvid” instead, if they weren’t going to be specific about the species. But sometimes Corvidae is referred to as the crow family, so it all gets confused that way too. Might have been a translation issue?

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