Meet Venus, the cat with 2 faces
Her unusual face has earned her Internet fame. Here's what's behind the Venus the chimera cat's unusual appearance.
Wed, Jul 09, 2014 at 05:12 PM
Venus the chimera cat has a face you'll remember. In fact, she looks rather two-faced.
One eye is green while the other is blue. And one side of her face is covered in black fur while the other is orange.
Venus was found on a North Carolina dairy farm in 2009, and her owner was drawn to her because the cat looked like a combination of her other two pets, an orange tabby and a black cat.
Venus' unusual appearance earned her the nickname "chimera cat."
In mythology, a chimera is a hybrid of different types of animals, typically a creature with the body of a lion and the head of a goat.
But animals are referred to as chimeras when their cells contain two types of DNA, which occurs when two embryos fuse together.
Leslie Lyons, a professor at University of California’s School of Veterinary Medicine who heads the 99 Lives Cat Whole Genome Sequencing Initiative, says that although feline chimeras aren't that rare, determining whether Venus is truly a chimera would require DNA testing.
Such a test would involve taking samples from both sides of Venus and testing to see if the DNA samples are different.
But Venus' genetics don't matter to her more than 200,000 Facebook fans.
The 5-pound cat keeps her admirers up to date on her day-to-day escapades of playing with her feline siblings and stealing food from the dog's bowl.
And for those who'd like a Venus of their own, stuffed-animal manufacturer Gund sells a chimera cat plush toy.
Watch Venus meet the stuffed version of herself in the video below.
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