Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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Do you notice anything strange about the cat in the photo? At first, I didn’t believe this .. er, cat .. was alive, instead of being the product of a zit-faced basement-dwelling photoshop prankster with too much time on his hairy-palmed hands. But after poking around on the internet for a few hours, it appears that this is the real thing.


This cat, named Lil’Bit, was born to a cat named Lil’Pine. Lil’Bit is now seven months old and is living with his original family. His family prefer to remain anonymous to avoid the crush of public attention, which might stress out the cat.

Lil’Bit was born with four eyes, although the middle two eyes look like they are somewhat merged together (see below — does this/these eye/s even see?). The cat also has two mouths and two noses, but only two ears.

The most remarkable thing about this cat is that it appears that he not only has two faces, but also has two functioning brains. Even though no x-rays have been taken to confirm this, veterinarians think that the two brains function independently because one face can sleep while the other is awake, one face can sneeze while the other does not, and both faces eat and breathe.

“The amazing thing to watch is that one of Lil’Bit’s faces can be asleep while the other one is awake,” says his 47-year-old female owner in Arizona. “I have also seen him sneeze out of one side and not the other and blink on one side of his face but not the other.;

The cat does have some physical problems, such as using the litter box.

“He finds it hard to walk normally so there was a litter problem because he couldn’t do it himself. So I hit on the idea of using premature baby diapers on him. It seems to work well,” said the owner.

Despite difficulties with using the litter box, there are some advantages to living with this cat as well.

“[W]hen he purrs it is like he is purring in stereo.”

Sources

MetroNews (image).

DailyMail (image).

Comments

  1. #1 Larry
    November 23, 2007

    Wow! I’ve seen animals like that pickled in mason jars at carnivals. I’m surprised the cat survived.

  2. #2 Library Diva
    November 23, 2007

    That’s very freaky, and very amazing. I can’t believe it survived — remember the Cyclops kitten from a few years back that didn’t even make it a full day?

  3. #3 pelf
    November 23, 2007

    Aww… Poor thing.

  4. #4 Aristeo Canlas Fernando
    November 24, 2007

    The birth of the two-faced, three-eyed cat maybe a fulfillment of a prophecy in 1979. It states: “The world will witness a number of unnatural and unbelievable occurrences which are nevertheless true. For one, certain infants will be born with fully-grown hair and a complete set of adult teeth. Scared by this phenomenon, mothers of these infants will be driven to getting rid of such offspring. This is one Providential notice of displeasure over mankind’s waning regard for the Kingdom of God.”

    This cat is one of “a number of unnatural and unbelievable occurrences”. Now the births are in animals. Later, it will be in humans. Humans, as prophesied, will give birth to baby with three eyes. Humans will even give birth to live fish and kitten. Cats will give birth to human beings. These are just a few of His specific prophecies. Wait for their occurrence. Surely, they will be fulfilled.

    Regards,
    Aristeo Canlas Fernando
    Peace Crusader and Echo
    Motto: pro aris et focis
    http://www.geocities.com/peacecrusader888/

  5. #5 Anonymous
    November 24, 2007

    ‘Humans will even give birth to live fish and kitten. Cats will give birth to human beings. These are just a few of His specific prophecies.’

    I think I laughed hardest at this part.

  6. #6 virginia
    November 24, 2007

    i have had many cats in 15yrs bt never have i ever dreamed of seeing something like that. i feel for the cat.

  7. #7 Mike
    November 25, 2007

    I wouldn’t worry too much about it. The cat’s main problem would be potential respiratory infections and obstructions. As long as the owner is loving and attentive (which they must clearly be to have see this unusual kitten into this late stage of development), the likelihood of unfortunate accidents shouldn’t be too bad. Although the litterbox problem seems to be quite the conundrum…

  8. #8 David Harmon
    November 25, 2007

    #2: The layman’s summary of the difference: the cyclops kitten would have been missing (many) pieces internally. This/These kitty(s) would have a few extras, which seems a bit more survivable. I also note that both photos suggest that the “left-paw” face is in line with the body, while the other is way off-center.

    Incidentally, the Metro News makes at least two dubious claims — that he was born with four eyes, who of which have since “merged”, and that “when he gets a cold, only one nose runs”. Both of those thoughts have my biological intuition yowling in protest….

    I’m guessing that the walking/litterbox issue represents a problem at the merger from two brains to one spinal cord. Given the behavior described, the problem might just be the classic “who’s in charge here?” conflict, in which case I assume they’ll eventually “get it together”. In the mean time, the real question is, “is that a He or a They?” ;-)

  9. #9 "GrrlScientist"
    November 25, 2007

    david: i wrote a really long comment to you and of course, wouldn’t you know it? my wifi connection went down just in time to destroy the entire comment. GAH! could you hear me scream all the way from NYC?

    basically i was agreeing with you and speculating on a few points (reporter misunderstanding, poor writing, possibly some sensationalism, etc. making the story less credible) and then i was also wondering if the middle eye can see at all (or if it can only perceive light/dark) and also whether the cat might be able to walk better if the right face is asleep.

  10. #10 David Harmon
    November 25, 2007

    Yeah, that middle eye doesn’t look too workable…

    whether the cat might be able to walk better if the right face is asleep.

    That could go either way… suppose the sleeping face dreams? (Just how does sleep paralysis work anyway?) I’m also doubting that the brains are in fact entirely separate, especially given the eye fusion. Even allowing for a cat’s limited self-awareness, having two brains overlapping must make for pretty bizarre experience….

  11. #11 Rhonda
    June 30, 2008

    Wow! I can’t believe that poor thing is still alive. Looking at him almost made me burst into tears.. I feel for them.

  12. #12 Betsy
    November 21, 2008

    First of all…I think the most amazing part of this story is the unconditional love that the owners are displaying. If and when this world comes to and end, it will be due to the lack of such love. We are not taking care of each other people. We are not taking care of our planet. THAT will produce babies born with a full set of teeth and fish-like appearances such as fused feet (already occuring). God bless this family…God has ALREADY blessed this family. And as far as what this “poor” cat feels….he only knows HIS life. He’s not sitting there thinking with one of his brains “Gee….I wish I looked like the other cats” or “I wonder what my other brain is thinking?”. He’s just getting loved and loving it. That’s the lesson here….love. As a single Mom who became legally blind a year and three months before the doctors figured out I have MS. I’ve seen first hand how little we as a species has come to truely care for each other. My only child has high functioning autism, OCD and is bi-polar. Often times, we get stared at as if WE are a two headed cat. And there have been times when we needed help getting my wheelchair unstuck in a hole in the street, when people walked right past us, pretending they didn’t see the “two headed cat”. But then there was the woman who pulled her car over in a way that protected me from traffic and got out of her car, limping herself and together, we got a 250# wheelchair unstuck. This family of the cat “freak” are an example of the people who will save this planet from destroying itself. I commend them for not putting the cat on display. They could profit from it financially. But I think they know what is of real, lasting value. L-O-V-E. Love people. It’s about the love.

  13. #13 lola
    November 29, 2008

    THATS GROSSS.

  14. #14 kaioucat
    July 31, 2009

    How’s the cat doing? I hope it’s still alive and healthy. The defect’s not too repulsive. I think it’s still adorable. It’s not hard to love this cat if u’re a true cat lover.

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