Jul 22, 2014

Venus the two faced cat

The three-year-old tortoiseshell has her own Facebook page VenusTheAmazingChimeraCat  and an Instagram account  venustwofacecat that has over 167,000 followers, and appeared on some shows on TV.

Take a look at this cat and you can understand why: One half of her is solid black with a green eye—the other half of her has typical orange tabby stripes and a blue eye. Venus's looks are so unique, some people think her photos are photo shopped.
How does a cat end up looking like that? Leslie Lyons, a professor at the University of California, Davis, who studies the genetics of domestic cats said she's never seen a cat exactly like Venus.
"She is extremely, extremely rare," Lyons said. 

Many people refer  Venus the cat as a "chimera." In mythology, a chimera is a monster made up of parts of different animals. A feline chimera is a cat whose cells contain two types of DNA, caused when two embryos fuse together.
Among cats, "chimeras are really not all that rare," Lyons said. In fact, most male tortoiseshell cats are chimeras. The distinctively mottled orange and black coat is a sign that the cat has an extra X chromosome.
But female cats, said Lyons,  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, said Lyons. 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."
Cat fanciers who are transfixed by Venus's split face may be missing the real story: her single blue eye. 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," she explained.
Venus appears to have only a white patch on her chest, which to Lyons is not enough to explain the blue eye.

"She is a bit of a mystery."
Oh boy... I wish I can find a cat like Venus.. don't you?

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