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This Unique Two Faced Cat is the Internet’s Most Adorable Mystery

Everyone thinks that their pet is special, but while Boo is undoubtedly cute and Maru is pretty good with boxes, it’s safe to say that there aren’t many people out there with a pet as unique as Venus the two-faced cat.
Indeed, in an internet saturated with cute kittens and cuddly cats, it takes a really special feline to stand out from the crowd. And Venus has defied the odds to become a superstar, thanks in no small part to the wonders of social media and – perhaps – a fluke of genetics.
Certainly, it’s those inimitable genetics that first caught the internet’s attention, but how exactly did Venus come to acquire her unique facial features? Experts have yet to come to a definite conclusion.
In 2012 renowned cat geneticist Leslie Lyons – who currently works in the University of Missouri’s department of veterinary pathobiology – told National Geographic that Venus is “extremely, extremely rare.”
Lyons believed that the cat’s appearance could be a case of simple coincidence. She argued that it’s possible that the X chromosome in the cells on one side of Venus’ face could have had the black pigmentation triggered while on the opposite side the cells’ orange pigmentation was produced.
Virginia Papaioannou, a professor at the Columbia University Medical School, seems to agree. She told New Republic in 2014, “[Venus is] a striking example of a calico cat. It’s a fairly straightforward example of X-inactivation mosaicism.”
Others, however, claim that the cat is what is known as a chimera, a genetic oddity created when a pair of different embryos combine. Such a type of cat, though, is not especially unique.
Lyons herself was skeptical of the idea, and Venus’ own website seems to refute the claim. In any case, a chimera cat would be impossible to identify without a DNA test.
Beyond Venus’ eye-catching two-faced look, however, is yet another odd feature that’s kept experts guessing: one of her eyes is a bright, clear shade of green, while the other is a piercing blue.
And it seems that cats only have blue eyes if they are Siamese or predominantly white – neither of which characteristic applies to Venus. The answer might, though, be in the white patch of fur on her chest.
Papaioannou said, “This cat has white spots on the chest, and it has white paws. The white spotting gene, the piebald gene, is probably affecting the two eyes differently.”
This, however, is just an assumption based on Venus’ appearance. Lyons neatly summed it up when she said, “[Venus] is a bit of a mystery.”
Venus’ early life also appears to be something of a mystery. Her current owner decided to adopt the stray kitty from a farm in North Carolina when she saw pictures of her that a friend had posted online.
In 2009 the striking puss moved into her new home in Florida. She began living a comfortable, happy life, and – thanks to her unusual half-black and half-tortoiseshell face – it wasn’t long before she started winning fans all over the globe.
Indeed, Venus’ Facebook page launched in 2012 and to date has acquired a staggering more than 776,000 likes. The page clearly appeals to people who just can’t get enough of her quirky looks.
Venus is popular on Instagram, too, where more than 568,000 followers check in for regular updates on her life. And she’s on YouTube as well, with one of her videos in particular having been viewed almost 3 million times.
All these online avenues show the world the things that Venus loves doing, which include stealing the food of the two considerably larger dogs with whom she shares her home and sleeping in bed alongside her human mother Christina.
What’s more, while internet fame is notoriously fickle, Venus’ star is showing no sign of fading. She’s so far been seen on the Today Show, among several other TV appearances, and to boot has had a limited-edition GUND plush toy created in her likeness.
And like all good celebrities, Venus uses her fame as a force for good. Indeed, visitors to her website are encouraged to support a different animal shelter every month.
According to her website, Venus has even helped a young child living with a facial birthmark to come to terms with their appearance. Not bad for a cat that started life as a humble stray.

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