Friday the 13th is traditionally considered unlucky, but here at Baxter Boo, Fridays are all about the felines. So we thought we would share the story of an unusual and very lucky kitty who now holds the Guinness World Record for being the most long-lived cat… with two faces. Frank and Louie the cat is now 12 years old, which is an amazing feat for a very rare and usually fatal condition.
A Hopeful Protector in Spite of a Poor Prognosis
Marty Stevens, a vet tech working at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, was on duty when a rag doll cat breeder brought a one-day-old kitten in to be euthanized because of his abnormalities. The condition is called Janus, after the Roman god with two faces. Typically, these cats die from complications of pneumonia from milk getting into the lungs due to a malformed palate or other congenital issues. So when Stevens volunteered to take the cat home, she was told not to get her hopes up.
She tube fed him for three months in hopes of preventing feeding aspirations, but it turns out Frank and Louie only use one mouth to feed, and he has thrived against all odds. He has two working noses, and two working eyes. The center eye simply stays open, like he’s staring… which can be a little unnerving. As if a two-faced cat isn’t unusual as it is!
A Pawsitive Personality
In spite of his appearance, his personality wins most people over. Rag dolls are famous for being friendly and laid back. That definitely describes Frank and Louie. He is social, enjoys walks on a leash, and car rides. He truly doesn’t seem bothered by his condition.
Shock and Awe
His luxurious coat and demeanor often attract attention from strangers, though Stevens waits for the moment when people realize he has two faces. Some people are shocked and appalled, while others are simply amazed. For Ms. Stevens, who is grateful that she trusted her instinct to save the kitten, Frank and Louie is nothing short of a miracle.
Frank and Louie is truly Lucky… Lucky to be alive, lucky to have better health than many cats his age, and lucky that a kind woman with a kind heart saw past his appearance and gave him a happy home. His 13th birthday is September 8, so here’s hoping for many more happy, healthy birthdays!
Photo by Steven Senne, Associated Press.