A London family is celebrating the short but memorable life of a ‘miracle’ cat born over the weekend with two faces.
Jodi Waite said Miracle the kitten was born on Sunday — along with seven brothers and sisters — to mother Nala, the family’s one-year-old cat.
“When she first came out, my daughter was helping me with the birth, and the sack came out, and she said, ‘Oh my, Mom, this one has two heads,'” Waite told Global News Thursday.
At first, Waite said she thought the kitten, born number seven of eight, was actually a set of twins. However, that quickly changed.
“Once we got the sack ripped apart and cleared off her noses, we realized it was two faces,” she said. “She was a miracle, and that’s what my daughter named her.”
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Waite said Miracle got along fine with her mother and siblings and acted and was treated just like any other kitten. Because she had diprosopus — also known as craniofacial duplication — Miracle had trouble latching to her mother and had to be fed by hand on a heating pad next to Nala.
“We would feed both sides of her mouth,” Waite said. “She would meow at us, always on the left side she would open first and meow, and the right side would meow shortly after.
“As soon as we were done feeding, she would put her back with mom and she would snuggle right in.”
After speaking with several local veterinarians, Waite said she was told to continue doing what she was doing — keep feeding Miracle and giving her love and attention. And so she did.
Miracle passed away Wednesday morning, just three days old.
“We were right beside Mom,” Waite said. “She was okay when I fed her, but she passed away shortly after, within a couple minutes.”
“She had a rough night last night,” Waite said of mother cat, Nala. “She woke me up three times. I do believe she was searching for Miracle. We did rounds of the house… and we were walking around the house, and she meowed, but always came back to the babies.”
Most humans and animals born with diprosopus — cats born with it are known as Janus cats, named after the two-faced Roman god — don’t live long lives, given the complications of the rare congenital disorder.
There has been one exception, however. The oldest surviving Janus cat on record was Frank and Louie, a male cat from Massachusetts, who died in 2014 at the age of 15.
Waite said Miracle’s seven siblings will be adopted out in time, but at the moment they’re too little.
“I’m going to keep my options open,” she said, adding she’s been contacted by friends, family, and people from across Canada.
“I just want to make sure they go to the right families.”