Latest edition of the Guinness Book of World Records to feature Frank and Louie, a 12-year-old cat with two mouths, two noses and three eyes who survived against huge odds
The Guardian, Friday 30 September 2011
Cat with two faces. Frank and Louie is to be featured in the Guinness Book of World Records Photograph: Steven Senne/AP
A cat born with two faces has made it into the 2012 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records after living for 12 years.
The pet, who has been named Frank and Louie, also has two mouths, two noses and three eyes. It is the longest surviving example of a Janus cat, named after the Roman god with two faces.
He was rescued by Marty Stevens 12 years ago after his previous owner wanted him put down when he was just a day old.
But the cat has stored up his 18 lives to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records.
"Every day is kind of a blessing; being 12 and normal life expectancy when they have this condition is one to four days," said Stevens. "So, he's ahead of the game; every day I just thank God I still have him.
Frank and Louie's breeder had taken him to the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, Massachusetts – where Stevens was working at the time – to be put down. She offered to take him home but experts warned her the cat was unlikely to survive.
Janus cats suffer from congenital defects which make it difficult for them to eat and often result in them slowly starving or contracting pneumonia. The condition is the result of a genetic defect that triggers excessive production of a certain kind of protein.
Frank and Louie can only see out of two of his three eyes but both of his noses work. One of his mouths does not have a lower jaw and is not connected to his oesophagus so he is unable to eat with it.
But he defied the odds and went on to enjoy a long life despite his complicated condition.
Stevens added: "It's funny because people walk up to him thinking it's a nice, fluffy white cat and they're walking up with a big smile on their face to pat him, like, 'Oh, what a beautiful cat' and I see a look of horror when they actually see his face."