By Mollie Mansfield
A kitten who was born with two faces has defied the odds thanks to the dedicated care of her veterinarian owner after being rejected by her mother.
Duo, the domestic medium hair cat, was born with ‘janus’ – a condition which causes the kitten to be born with two faces due to an over abundance of a protein called Sonic Hedgehog Protein.
Just hours after the kitten, who has two noses, two mouths and four eyes, was born, vet Ralph Tran, 41, was called from a local rescue to help look after the unique feline.
Since being taken in by Ralph, Duo has become stronger by the day and has now reached four-months-old – despite the vet initially worrying that she would not live past a few days old.
Ralph Tran, from San Diego, California, said: “I was given Duo just a couple of hours after she was born and I was concerned that due to her special anatomy she would not be able to live past a few days.
“When she was born she was rejected by her mom and did not know how to nurse from a bottle.
“Duo has a condition commonly known as “Janus”, also known as diprosopus or craniofacial duplication.
“The term ‘Janus’ is a reference to the Roman god usually depicted as having two faces in mythology.
“Duo has two noses, two mouths and four eyes – her two middle eyes have fused into one large structure.
“Despite this, her everyday life isn’t too different to other cats – she eats, sleeps and plays with toys!
“She breaths through both noses and eats through both mouths – and meows from both mouths, sometimes separately and sometimes at the same time.
“Hopefully, Duo will continue to stay strong and grow.
“She will have surgery to remove her middle eye.
“Other than that, she should hopefully live a long kitty life.”