A kitten with a rare genetic mutation was born with two heads in Arkansas — and named Harvey by his owner, a nod to the Batman villain “Two-Face,” according to local reports.
The feline anomaly was spotted by Ariel Contreras when he noticed his cat begin to give birth, he told a local television station.
“I went to go do laundry, I’d seen my cat was like meowing, and then all of the sudden babies started coming out, and I started yelling for my husband,” Contreras told KYTV Friday.
“This is the second one, so whenever he came out, my husband said, ‘honey, it has two heads,’ and I went, ‘no way!,’” the Harrison, Ark. woman reportedly said.
Contreras named the newborn cat Harvey, after fictional Batman character Harvey Dent who turned into the supervillain Two-Face, according to the report.
A cat born with two distinct faces is known as a Janus cat. The condition is caused by excess protein production in the womb, doctors told the station.
“It has one of everything except for the extra skull,” Dr. Tim Addis, a veterinarian with Alley Cat Animal Rescue, told the station.
“They seem to be operating together, you can feed either mouth, and it takes nourishment through either mouth. It’s really different,” he reportedly said.
“Its odds of making it are just as good as its siblings’ if you’re feeding it with a bottle.”
Harvey was standing out from the clowder of kittens in more ways than one, Contreras told the station.
“It’s actually bigger than the other ones, and it’s doing great. It’s absolutely doing great,” said Conteras.
Researchers are only aware of the existence of a handful of Janus cats, and most of them have died soon after being born. However, one Massachusetts Janus cat born in 1999 survived for 15 years, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
“There was one that made it 12 years, and one that made it 15 years, so I’m really praying this one makes it that long, and we will do whatever it takes,” Contreras reportedly said.
“Well, the little kitten has the chance,” added Dr. Addis. “What the odds are, I don’t know. They’re hard to raise. But, it will make it if the Lord’s willing.”