Frank and Louie, The Cat With Two Faces

With two faces I mean it literally. Frank and Louie got two faces. It’s like a Siamese twin.

frank louieLouie and Frank

To this day Louie and Frank are twelve years old. He has two mouths, two noses and three eyes, and one brain, so the faces react in unison. And now, he’s the longest living cat with two faces. Louie and Frank lives together with owner Marty, who has a background in veterinary medicine. Marty was working at Tufts Veterinary Medical School when she got Frank and Louis, who was brought in at one day old to be euthanized.

No Hope

Twelve years ago Frank and Louie were brought in by his breeder, where Marty Stevens was working at the time. Experts told that there was no hope for him and that he had to be euthanized. Marty offered to take him home.

Janus (names after the roman God with two faces) cats almost never survive, and most of them have many congenital defects which cause them to slowly starve to death or aspirate milk into their lungs and die of pneumonia. The condition is the result of a genetic defect that triggers excessive production of a certain kind of protein.

Frank and Louie however, did not suffer from most of the common Janus problems. Marty used feeding tubes to feed him for three months. Hoping that would save him from choking on food. In the end she did not have to worry, because Frank and Louie used one mouth to eat. While colleagues at the veterinary hospital told Stevens that trying to raise Frank and Louie might not be good for him — or her. Thirty years ago, a cat like Frank and Louie might not have been given a chance to live.

The condition itself is very rare and I think that the fact that this cat became an adult, a healthy adult, is remarkable” – Dr. Armelle deLaforcade, an associate professor at Cummings and head of the emergency services section.


A Friendly Ragdoll

Frank and Louie do not seem to be bothered by this condition, and they have turned into a very friendly cat. They are a ragdoll, who are known for their obedient temperament and soft fur. According to Marty he is very laid back and not afraid of people. He loves car rides.

Twelve years after Marty Stevens rescued him from being put to sleep because of his condition, the exotic blue-eyed rag doll cat is not only thriving but has made it into the 2012 Guinness Book of World Records. He’s the longest surviving member of a group known as Janus cats.



29 Responses to “Frank and Louie, The Cat With Two Faces”

  1. Bassas Blog

    That is so strange Dianda. I have never heard of anything like this in cats. I am very happy to hear that Frank and Louie are thriving.

    • Dianda

      Me neither! I saw something about it on facebook. I first thought it was just a cat that was photographed when he moved his head, haha.

  2. lahgitana

    what’s amazing to me is that the condition is common enough to have a name! cats must be powerful beings, indeed, to be able to show two faces occasionally.

  3. alienredqueen

    It would be interesting to see if Frank and Louie have two different personalities. I mean, if they have one brain, it’s really only ONE cat, right? I think I will look into this more.

  4. heretherebespiders

    I’d replied on FB but also wanted to say here that I met (and really wanted to adopt but couldn’t) a partial Janus cat. He had…actually it WAS two entire noses. It’s been over 20years, I’d forgotten! Yes two noses, and four canine teeth top and bottom. So he only ‘twinned’ a little bit! He was a kitten but old enough to be on solid food, so no issues with him being able to eat or the bad gene, either. I had a cat at home with feline leukaemia so he was better off not coming home with me, and I’m still sorry about that!

  5. hutchagoodlife

    What an amazing story of what love, and belief can do! Maybe this will inspire others with Janus cats to think about the long life they could lead.

    Nibbles, Nutty, Buddy & Basil


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