Bettie Bee, the 'Janus' Kitten with Two Faces, Passes Away

In her very short 16 days of life, a little cat named Bettie Bee caught hearts and brains far and wide. Conceived on December 12 to a healthy house feline in South Africa, the cat was conceived with an exceedingly uncommon hereditary condition, known as 'Janus,' which made her be conceived with two faces.

Taken in by an extraordinary needs rescuer, Bettie Bee rapidly turned into an intriguing web sensation, because of her prevalent Facebook page, which included photographs and updates of the little cat.

While Bettie Bee was for the most part sound in her initial couple of days of life, her rescuer shared the dismal news on Dec. 28 that the Janus feline had passed away. The cat had apparently caught pneumonia at two weeks. "We speculate some way or another some drain came up and went into her lungs," her rescuer wrote. "[We] started with treatment immediately and thought we were winning until she vomited and got more milk in her lungs."

Instead of influence the little cat to battle or endure, Bettie's rescuer conveyed her to the vet and had her gently put down. "For 16 days, I gave my everything thus did she," she revealed to Facebook followers. "I would do it all over again. She deserved to have a chance at life but sadly it was not meant to be.”

The little cat's Facebook page will stay up, however her story has left many individuals pondering what, precisely, is a Janus cat?

As indicated by Dr. Jerold Bell of Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, the condition is "due to abnormal regulation of genes in the developing embryo, often involving a gene called sonic hedgehog (SHH)." (Yep, like the videogame character.)

"Excess expression of SHH can cause the split facial development," Bell explained. "However, other genes can also cause split facial presentations. This is not due to fusion of two different embryos. Janus cats start from a single fertilized egg."

Notwithstanding having two faces, Janus felines can some of the time have a third ear or eye also, and many have congenital fissures, which forestalls typical nursing behavior.

Tragically, Janus felines don't have a long life expectancy. Despite the fact that there have been mind blowing special cases to the control—to be specific the popular Frank and Louie, who lived to be 15 years of age—Bell said most Janus felines pass on inside a couple of hours of being conceived, due to not having the capacity to nurture appropriately.

"The biggest obstacle is in their ability to breath and eat normally," he said. "There are often issues with the separation of the larynx (entry to the windpipe/trachea) and pharynx (entry to the food pipe/esophagus). This often causes them to aspirate food and die of pneumonia, which is what seemed to have occurred with [Bettie Bee]."

While it is an exceptionally uncommon event, Bell said that the transformation can be "seen in both mixed breed and purebred felines as an unconstrained inherent abnormality."

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