Kitten born with two faces dies

By Alison Bologna

A two-faced kitten recently born in Providence died Friday.

Gemini was born in a litter of five kittens. He had two faces, four eyes, two noses, two mouths, two ears, and two separate tracheas that went into one throat. He had seven toes on each front foot and five on each back for a total of 24 toes.

"We were very, very surprised," Gemini's owner told NBC 10 News on Thursday night.

Dr. Ernest Finocchio, of the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said Thursday he had never seen such a kitten. He said he believes it could be a case of conjoined twins that never separated properly.

"It's like having twins. He eats very slowly. He doesn't want to drink the bottle at his pace, so we're up a couple of hours just feeding him until the next feeding," the owner said.

The other kittens in the litter are healthy and eating with their mother. Finocchio said it was difficult to determine the kitten's life expectancy without a complete internal examination, which would involve an ultrasonic examination.

The owner said she could use such resources to keep Gemini alive.

"We're hoping someone can help look at him to make sure everything is OK ... and what we're supposed to be doing to help him live better, longer," she said.

But the kitten died Friday before Finocchio was able to examine it.

A veterinarian recommended an animal autopsy and wanted to send the kitten to university researchers. But the owner declined.