He’s just one cat, but “Frank and Louie” has two faces, three eyes, two noses and two mouths. He’s also a happy and healthy “Janus cat” that just set the record for the longest known living cat with his condition.
Marty Stevens rescued Frank and Louie from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, where the newborn kitten was scheduled to be euthanized. The planned procedure was at the time seen as an act of mercy, as most cats with his condition do not survive more than a few days after birth and can suffer from a number of terrible conditions, including starvation and pneumonia.
But Stevens said she insisted on taking Frank and Louie home after it was discovered he did not suffer from any of the typical ailments associated with Janus cats, named after the Roman god with two faces. Now, at age 12, Frank and Louie has been entered into the Guinness Book or World Records as the oldest-living Janus cat on record:
“Every day is kind of a blessing; being 12 and normal life expectancy when they have this condition is one to four days,” Stevens said, stroking Frank and Louie’s soft fur as he sat on her lap purring. “So, he’s ahead of the game; every day I just thank God I still have him.”
“The condition itself is very rare, and I think that the fact that this cat became an adult, a healthy adult, is remarkable,” said Dr. Armelle deLaforcade, an associate professor at Cummings and head of the emergency services section.
Stevens says Frank and Louie’s unusual story goes beyond his medical condition, calling him “more of a dog than a cat,” who loves to be walked on a leash and take rides in Stevens’ car. And most importantly, Frank and Louie isn’t bothered by his condition. Like other blue-eyed rag doll breeds, he is friendly, enjoying laying in his owner’s lap and interacting with other people.