A two-faced kitten that was born with a rare condition has died after capturing the attention of thousands of adoring fans.
The kitten, named Biscuits and Gravy by owners Kyla and BJ King, was born on 20 May in Oregon. He lived to be nearly four days old, said the Kings on a Facebook page dedicated to his progress.
Born with a birth defect known as diprosopus, or cranial duplication, Biscuits had four eyes, two noses and two mouths. He could eat and meow from both faces and Mr King said he was a “lively” kitten.
But felines with the defect do not have a long life expectancy, and the family acknowledged that Biscuits had beaten “the longest of odds” by living as long as he did.
“I wish I hadn’t said that we wishes he was eating more. That prompted many of you to tell us what we were doing wrong,” the couple wrote in a Facebook post announcing the kitten’s death.
“The fact is he was eating very well. What I meant was we wished he could put on weight. He ate a lot, and he peed and pooped a lot. He just didn’t grow.
“It’s hard work for a little guy like him to support a large head with two complete faces. We thank all of you who have been so king, prayed and wishes the best for Biscuits and Gravy,” they added.
Cats born with two faces are also known as “Janus” cats, after the ancient Roman god of time and duality. Janus is often depicted as having two faces to look into both the future and the past.
Complications caused by the deformity severely shorten the lifespan of Janus cats, but the longest-lived Janus cat lived up until the age of 15.
Ms King wrote in another post: “I want to thank everyone so much for your kindness and love. This story has been as tory of life and how very precious it is, whether days or years, whether animal or human, life is so very precious and every single life is unique.
“I feel so blessed to be part of the story of Biscuits and Gravy and how he brought joy and hope to so many people.”
The kitten is survived by five other siblings.