Frankie and Louie from Massachusetts were the oldest living “Janus” cats; even holding a spot in the Guiness Book of World Records.  They died at the age of fifteen at the beginning of December.

Never heard of a Janus cat?  Me neither.

A Janus cat is the name given to cats born with two faces.  The name comes from the Roman god Janus who was usually shown with two heads. a7januscat30 Scientists aren’t entirely sure what causes this extremely rare condition, but they believe it has something to do with genetics.  The cats also share only one brain.  Frankie and Louie were a ragdoll – but the condition can happen to both purebred and non-bred cats.  The condition is so rare that scientists do not believe that breeding has anything to do with it.

Frankie and Louie shared a brain and all other organs – which is why experts believe they lived so long.  If they had had separate organs, veterinarians do not believe that they would have lived as long as they did.  Unfortunately, most cats born with this condition will die very young due to complications. Other times, the mother will abandon or even eat their kittens.

Kitty Hero

Frankie and Louie were fortunate to have crossed paths with Marty Stevens.  Ms. Stevens took them home for fear that they would be euthanized due to their condition.  She cared for them for fifteen years.  Ms. Stevens is a wonderful person for taking care of these special needs cats and giving them a loving home when so many would never even consider it.  Thank you, Marty Stevens!  So sorry for the loss of your beautiful babies!