PORTLAND, O.R. (KOIN) — When Kyla King got up Wednesday morning to check on her pregnant cat, she knew there was a good chance she’d find a litter of newborn kittens.
She walked outside to the special crate she had put the expectant mother into overnight and noticed four tiny kittens. But then she noticed two more hiding behind their mom. So Kyla picked one up and set it down with the rest of the litter.
She picked up the last kitten and found herself face-to-face with two tiny noses, four eyes tightly shut and two mewling mouths.
Kyla said she sent a picture to her husband, BJ King, with a text that read: “We have 6-1/3 kitty cats now!”
One of the couple’s children suggested Kyla post about their rare little feline on Facebook. BJ took it a step further and decided to share the news on their local community page, Albany Happenings.
“I said we’ll probably get a little bit of reaction out of this and it took off really fast,” BJ said.
Kyla reached out to their vet to learn more about the kitten’s condition, how to care for it and its odds of survival. She learned there wasn’t much to be done medically for the tiny creature. All she could do was make it comfortable and help it eat.
“It doesn’t really know how to nurse properly because it has two mouths so I’ve been trying to feed it,” Kyla said. “And, I mean, I’m gonna do the best I can but these animals don’t usually live too long.”
Cats with two faces are known as “Janus” cats, after the Roman god Janus often depicted with two faces in mythology. They suffer from a rare congenital defect called disprosopus, or cranial duplication. Most Janus cats don’t live longer than a day but one defied the odds. His name was “Frank and Louie” and he passed away in 2014 at the age of 15. The Guinness Book of World Records named him the world’s longest surviving Janus cat.
The Kings’ special kitten appears to be doing well but they’re taking the situation day-by-day and keeping a realistic outlook.
“We’re not super optimistic but it does seem pretty lively and has an appetite and seems to be doing pretty well,” BJ said.
“It’s smaller than the other kittens but it could be the runt, too, on top of having two faces,” Kyla said.
They’ve named their kitten Biscuits and Gravy—”Biscuit” for short—and Kyla is its champion. She bottle feeds it, keeps it warm by tucking it into her shirt and even sleeps with it through the night in a separate room because BJ is allergic to cats. They said Biscuit’s mother is the only tame barn cat that lives on their farm and was also bottle-fed as a kitten by Kyla.
This unique kitten even has a special talent: it can meow and eat at the same time.
“Meow out of one mouth and eat out of the other,” BJ said.
They still don’t know if Biscuit’s eyes are conjoined or if it has four separate eyes.
“If it lives long enough—like a week—we’ll be able to tell what its eyes look like,” said Kyla.
The Kings plan to enjoy whatever time they have with Biscuit. They said they’ve had many requests from people who want the special kitten but the family plans on keeping it.