The world's longest living two-faced cat has recently celebrated his 12th birthday at the beginning of September in Worcester, Massachusetts.
- (Reuters/David Niles)
The cat, whose left side is known as Frankie and right side known as Louie, nicknamed Frankenlouie, holds the Guinness World Record for the longest living Janus feline, a term coined by British zoologist R. Karl Shuker to describe the rare condition that usually causes kittens to die within a few days of birth.
The Janus feline refers to the Roman god Janus who had two faces.
The cat's owner is veterinary nurse Marty Stevens, who rescued the two-faced feline before he was euthanized at Tufts Veterinary Medical School for his condition.
"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.
Stevens describes Frankenlouie as a playful cat who likes to be walked on his leash and go for car rides.
The genetic disorder, which is caused by excessive production of a certain protein, results in many defects that in most cases result in death at an early age.
Stevens attributes Frankenlouie's survival to her constantly feeding him as an infant.
"For the first month or so I fed him every two hours. He was the size of a hamster," said Stevens.
Frankenlouie starred in an Animal Planet special in 2008, but many cat loving groups saw the special as a freak show, making a spectacle out of Frankenlouie's condition.
"It tries to sensationalize the Janus condition as freakishness, and did to treat this cat respectfully," said the Life with Cats website.
Frankenlouie has three eyes, two noses and two mouths, Stevens says that he lives the regular life of a loved cat, with one brain, one stomach, and one heart.
"He doesn't know he's any different. He thinks he's a normal cat," said Stevens.
Frankenlouie has garnered thousands of hits on his videos on YouTube.
One in a million cats are born with this disorder. Other famous two faced cats of the past include Lil'Bit and Gemini.