Meet Venus, A Cat With Two Faces
Cats come in a wide variety of colors, but most cats don’t have two completely different faces.
Venus became an Internet celebrity after proving cats don’t just have 9 lives, but they can also have 2 faces!
Out of the millions of social media pets vying for likes and follows, Venus remains one of the most well known and adored.
After all, how can you compete with her mysterious markings?
At first sight, many claim photos of 5-year-old Venus are photoshopped, but one look at her Instagram and you can find videos of the cat, plus she’s also been interviewed on TV.
Regardless, her Instagram profile reads: “0% photoshopped 100% born this way!”
Venus literally has two different faces; she is split perfectly down the middle between her eyes. Half of her face is black, and the other half is orange. Her eyes are also different colors, bright blue on the left side and bright green on the right.
So why does Venus the cat have two different faces? One idea going around is that Venus is Chimera. Chimeras include any living organism that has 2 cell lines that are genetically different, in other words Chimeras have two different types of DNA.
That would mean Venus is like two cats in one body. Chimeras result when two fertilized zygotes merge together during conception.
Many pets and people are Chimeras but will never know it unless they have a DNA test run. This is because Chimera doesn’t usually result in a dramatic outward appearance. While in-vitro federalization increases the chances for chimeras to result, this is not something we can purposely create.
Some calico cats look like they are chimera but really they have normal zygote development. Instead, the genetic codes from both parents blend together to create the multiple colors of their coat.
Venus is a tortoiseshell cat, although the only difference between a tortoiseshell and calico are colors.
Calico cats are not listed as a breed; instead they can be any breeds so long as their coats contain 3 different predominant patches of colors including black, white, and tabby orange.
So while Venus’s heritage makes her naturally susceptible to these markings, many report she is undoubtedly chimera because she has two different colored eyes. Leslie Lyons, a professor from the University of California, Davis, does not completely agree with this theory.
Lyons admits that no matter what, Venus is extremely rare, but she isn’t necessarily sure that the cat is chimera.
Since she is female and females naturally have two X chromosomes she could be wearing this unique coat without an extra X chromosome—hence why most calico cats are female. According to Lyons, if she’s not a chimera, her facial appearance was developed out of “absolute luck”.
But wait the mystery deepens, not only are Venus’s eyes two different colors, but they are green and BLUE.
Cats usually have yellow or green eyes, not blue. Siamese cats have blue eyes, and sometimes so do cats with white fur.Venus isn’t Siamese and she isn’t white either, besides a small patch on her chest, which isn’t enough to explain away her blue eye.
Without DNA testing, Venus remains a modern day marvel and medical mystery.
While anything with two faces might sound scary or even ugly, Venus is anything but! In fact, she’s absolutely gorgeous. According to Venus’s owners, she is just as sweet and loving as she is aesthetically pleasing. She can be seen in many of her photos affectionately cuddling up to her owners, or batting her kitty lashes for the camera. While she doesn’t like to claw up furniture, she does do other cat-like things, such as taking plenty of mid-day (or shall we say, all day) naps.