This Cat Is Straight-Up Two-Faced

by Tess Duncan

Venus the cat has a condition: total badassery. As you can see, she’s got two different eye colors (AKA heterochromia) and a giant, perfectly straight splash of black that runs down half of her face. She pretty much looks like Two Face but I guess scientists have a name for this, too. They’re speculating that this may make Venus a chimera. This means that, under rare circumstances, two genetically different embryos merged in the womb. This is basically the opposite of identical twins, where the fertilized egg would separate to form two different embryos. With chimeras, two fertilized eggs come together and create one child. 

For example, this rat is a chimera. The egg for black fur and the one for white both came through, keeping its own character in the rat. Therefore, the rat has blotchy black and white fur.

This particular kitty might not be a chimera, though. Her coloring might just be a random act of awesomeness, according to science. Katia Andreassi of National Geographic tell us, “‘Female cats’, said Leslie Lyons, a professor at the University of California, Davis, ‘already have two X chromosomes so they can sport that coat without the extra X. That means Venus is not necessarily a chimera. To find out would require genetic testing.’ With samples of skin from each side of the cat, ‘we can do a DNA fingerprint—just like on CSI—and the DNA from one side of the body should be different than the other.'”

However, Venus’ one blue eye is still a bit strange. Andreassi says that, “Cat eyes are typically green or yellow, not blue. A blue-eyed cat is typically a Siamese or else a cat with ‘a lot of white on them.’ …Venus appears to have only a white patch on her chest, which to Lyons is not enough to explain the blue eye.

Srsly, could this cat get any cooler?

Source: NewStatesman

Photos via NewStatesman

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