It is very rare to see a kitten with two faces, even if you are an experienced veterinarian like Dr.
Ralph Tran, who recently had an encounter about three months ago.
Tran was moving from New York City to San Diego when he received a text message: his friend’s cat gave birth to a ‘Janus kitten.’
In an interview with PEOPLE, Tran said: “We were stranded just half an hour away where (my friend) lived.”
His friend wanted someone who knows how to take care of the feline because of its health condition.
Duo the black kitten was born with diprosopus, a congenital defect also known as craniofacial duplication. She has one head, one body, but two faces and both of which are ‘fully operational.’
Tran, who previously worked at the ASPCA kitten nursery, has enough experience caring for neonatal kittens. So he agreed to take Duo with him to join his eight other felines.
“I really didn’t know much about what condition she had,” he admitted. “I assumed she was a typical Siamese twin, but she’s not.”
Duo is not the only cat with the condition. Another two-faced feline named Louie and Frank lived up to 15 years and earned recognition from the Guinness Book of World Records for being the oldest Janus cat in the world.
However, most cats with diprosopus do not live longer than several days.
Tran would feed Duo every few hours. The little feline had to be tube-fed, and later her caring doctor used a syringe as she would not drink from a bottle.
She was also treated for a series of respiratory infections. One of her eyes isn’t good and it causes irritation and infection, so she will undergo eye enucleation surgery when she is big enough to have it removed.
It has taken her longer than usual to learn how to walk, eat, play, go to the bathroom, and other typical kitten behaviors. Tran also said that Duo “didn’t quite develop mentally like other kittens her age.”
He added: “It was roughly around eight weeks of age, maybe nine weeks, when she started recognizing the other cats, toys, and me. Now she runs (over) when she sees me.”
When it comes to eating from a bowl, Tran said: “She gets into conflicts about which mouth gets to eat, because both mouths want to eat.”
Because of food struggles, Duo is only half the size of a typical cat her age. It is still unclear what the future holds for our tiny fuzzball but the videos Tran shares on Facebook show that she is very happy.
“She plays with toys now, and she likes to follow the other cats. One cat will play with her; the other cats just look at her funny,” Tran shared.
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