This adorable 4-month-old kitten is aptly named Duo. The kitten was born with two faces due to a congenital defect called diprosopus. It is very uncommon to see a cat with two faces, yet Dr. Ralph Tran was introduced to one by a friend whose cat gave birth to one.
Tran was somewhere between New York City and San Diego on his cross-country move when his friend texted him that his cat gave birth to what is known as a 'Janus kitten'. “We were stranded just half an hour away from where [my friend] lived,” as Tran had a flat tire he was trying to contend with - this was too much of a coincidence.
Tran agreed to come and see the kitten, whose mother had already rejected him due to his health. He would take him to his new home where his other eight cats could meet him. “I really didn’t know much about what condition she had,” he says. “I assumed she was a typical Siamese twin, but she’s not.”
While the cat had two faces that were right next to each other, they were separate. “Both her mouths meow separately, and both noses are fully functional.” After getting to his final destination of San Diego, Tran continued to care for Duo and tube feed the little one, and later syringe feeing him.
One of Duo's eyes isn't going to be usable, and she had many breathing issues due to the structure of the nose. “It was roughly around eight weeks of age, maybe nine weeks, when she started recognizing the other cats, toys, and me,” he explains. “Now she runs [over] when she sees me.” Eating is also not as easy as it should be, “She gets into conflicts about which mouth gets to eat, because both mouths want to eat,” he says. She is smaller than she should be because of the eating issues but otherwise doing remarkably well.