1. Frank and Louie is a “Janus cat.”
Why Janus? Well, in ancient Roman mythology, Janus was a god with two faces.
2. The technical name for that is Disprosopus, or craniofacial duplication.
Janus cats appear to be conjoined twins, but their condition is actually not the result of incomplete separation of two embryos in the womb. It’s triggered by a protein called sonic hedgehog homolog (SHH). Yes, there’s a protein called the sonic hedgehog protein.
3. Most cats with the condition die within hours, but Frank and Louie is now 13 years old.
Which has earned him a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest living cat with Disprosopus.
4. His original owner wanted to have him put down.
He was initially brought into a pet hospital when he was a day old.
5. But an employee at the veterinary school took pity on him, and brought him home.
That’s Marty, and she lives in Worcester, Massachusetts. She also owns a “regular” cat, and a parrot.
6. That’s Frank on the left, and Louie on the right.
Frank does the eating, while Louie “just kind of hangs out.” The eyes on the outside are the ones that see.
7. He’s playful.
8. And affectionate.
9. And generally adorable.
10. And definitely not to be confused with:
11. Or indeed:
12. So let’s hear it for Frank and Louie, the cat that proves two faces are better than one:
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- Twenty-three athletes who competed in the 2012 Olympic Games in London have failed retrospective doping tests, officials say.