Venus, a Chimera Cat, Has Two Different Colored Halves to Her FacePublished August 27, 2012
Venus, a fine and strikingly beautiful feline, has grabbed many headlines as of late and become the latest Internet cat sensation. That's because this cat has a very unique look to her; Venus, a chimera cat, has what appear to be two different faces with two distinctly different colored eyes on either side. Truly, the cat, whose face on one side is black and completely calico on the other, is something to behold. Venus first made headlines when her photo appeared on the popular social sharing site Reddit about a month ago. From there, the feline quickly rose to recognition after the photo went viral. A newly created Facebook page in mid-August has already garnered over 27,000 likes, as the cat's appearance has piqued the curiosity of the cat-loving masses.
This feline's odd but beautiful appearance is caused by her unique genetic composition. As a chimera, Venus' genes are composed of two or more different populations of genetically distinct cells that came from her parents. As a result, half of her face is uniformly black, while the other half is uniformly calico. As Venus' owner explained on her Facebook page, "[Venus] little split face looked like a combo of the 2 cats I currently had (and still have)."
Venus’ appearance to have two faces as a chimera is not to be confused with that of a Janus cat, a condition similarly described as “two-faced”. Janus cats suffer from disprosopus, a condition that affects craniofacial development and is usually life-threatening. On the other hand, being a chimera has no effect on an animal’s lifespan.
Venus’ unique nature as a chimera cat is being used to help animals in need; those flocking to see photos of the cat on Facebook are also seeing other items in the feed that are working to promote worthy causes. Taking advantage of those who are interested in seeing the cat, Venus' owner is posting stories and items that are working to help animals, either by highlighting specific causes or highlighting adoptable pets in need of homes.
What do you think about Venus the chimera cat, and her owner’s Facebook page working to promote a good cause? Share your thoughts in a comment.