A two-faced Janus kitten died Thursday in Oregon, just two days after it was born.
Deucy was born Tuesday in Amity, and owner Stephanie Durkee was beyond surprised when her children told her that there was a kitten with two faces in the litter.
Durkee told her children, “I think you guys are just tired, you’re crazy, that doesn’t happen.”
But then Durkee saw Deucy, who suffered from a rare congenital disorder called diprosopus. Cats with this disorder are known as “Janus” cats, named after the two-faced Roman god, Janus, who also lends his name to the month of January.
Janus kittens rarely make it to adulthood, with the oldest known living to 12 years. Durkee fed Deucy every two hours with a syringe after she was rejected by her mother. The kitten had a healthy set of organs, according to veterinarians, but died of health complications, and Durkee said she died peacefully in the morning. Deucy’s two litter mates have survived.
In February, a Janus cat named Harvey Dent also died from health complications from diprosopus after just two days.
In 2011, a cat named Frank and Louie was named the longest-surviving Janus cat at 12 years old. His owner, Marty Stevens, was working at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University when the cat was brought in by a breeder. Stevens invited Frank and Louie into her home, where she tube fed him and set an alarm every two hours for nightly feedings.
“I’d wake up and literally think, ‘Oh my god, he’s still alive,'” Stevens said. “Then days passed and it was like, ‘Yay he’s still alive!'”
Frank and Louie was generally healthy throughout his life, although he did suffer a sinus infection as a kitten and later had surgery to remove teeth growing in along the right side of his face, where he had no jaw.
Are you sad to hear that Deucy the two-faced kitten has died?