At Outsider, we’ve covered rare instances of genetic mutations causing two-headed snakes and turtles. However, in this incredibly shocking case, a two-headed kitten was born in Arkansas last week, and the pictures are astounding.
According to local outlet KYTV, owner Ariel Contreras named the cat “Harvey.” She named it this after Batman villain Harvey Dent, who after getting injured in an attack by the Joker becomes known as “Two-Face.”
Contreras realized the mutation when she noticed his cat giving birth.
“I went to go do laundry, I’d seen my cat was like meowing, and then all of the sudden babies started coming out, and I started yelling for my husband,” Contreras told KYTV Friday.
“This is the second one, so whenever he came out, my husband said, ‘honey, it has two heads,’ and I went, ‘no way!,’” the owner of the rare kitten said.
A cat born with two distinct faces is known as a Janus cat, and the condition is caused by excess protein production in the womb, doctors told the local station.
Two-Headed Kitten Survives Despite Odds
“It has one of everything except for the extra skull,” Dr. Tim Addis, a veterinarian with Alley Cat Animal Rescue said.
“They seem to be operating together, you can feed either mouth, and it takes nourishment through either mouth. It’s really different,” Addis said. “Its odds of making it are just as good as its siblings’ if you’re feeding it with a bottle.”
Dr. Addis reportedly told KYTV that in over sixty years working with animals, he has never seen a mutation as rare as Harvey’s.
Contreras told the outlet that the cat stands out not only for its genetic anomaly. It’s also known for its size.
“It’s actually bigger than the other ones, and it’s doing great. It’s absolutely doing great,” said Conteras.
Apparently, researchers know of only a handful of Janus cats. Most of them have died soon after being born. However, one Massachusetts Janus cat born in 1999 survived for 15 years, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. That Janus cat, named “Frank and Louie,” possessed only one functioning esophagus, which many believe aided in its longevity.
“There was one that made it 12 years, and one that made it 15 years, so I’m really praying this one makes it that long, and we will do whatever it takes,” Contreras reportedly said.
“Well, the little kitten has the chance,” added Dr. Addis. “What the odds are, I don’t know. They’re hard to raise. But, it will make it if the Lord’s willing.”
The outlet reports that the owner requests people with information on facilities that tend to animals with special genetic mutations to contact the owner at: (870) 715-9280.