Friday, March 1, 2013
The first time most people see a photo of Venus, they usually think it’s a photoshop fake or that her owners dyed her face. It’s hard not to, since this kitty seemingly has two very different faces, perfectly split down the middle of her nose. A visit to her Facebook page is enough to convince all but the most skeptical humans that Venus is indeed a real cat.
But why is her face like that? Venus might be a chimera, a rare condition where two genetically distinct embryos merge in the womb. It’s also possible her unique face is just a coincidental placement of a normal tortoiseshell pattern. DNA testing is the only way to know for sure, but Venus doesn’t really care and neither do her 104,000+ Facebook fans who enjoy this cute kitty’s wit and humor. I chatted with Venus recently so we could all learn a little more about this now famous split-faced feline.
Julia: If you had $1 for every time someone said your face was photoshopped, how rich would you be, and what would you do with all the money?
Venus: I would probably have a half million dollars and I would definitely donate to animal aid after I got a few little luxuries for myself, like one of those fancy automatic litter boxes, a couple new cat condos, a lifetime supply of cat treats and cool toys...oh, and maybe a posh new carrier for trips to the vet.
I guess I'm not surprised because I do look so different than most other cats.
You were born a stray, but luckily found a wonderful forever home. What does your human family love most about you, and what do you love about them?
My human family loves that I'm so snuggly like a baby. I'm timid and shy around strangers, but when it's just us I'm always laying on someone's lap purring up a storm. What I love most about them is that they love me for all of me, not just because of how I look...AND they let me get away with things most kitties can't do. We don't have many rules.
What do you like most about being a Celebrity Kitty?
Being a celebrity kitty will allow me to help other kitties who have no home and nobody to love them.
Well, to be honest I still don't feel famous. I did my Today Show interview which made me feel like royalty but other than that I haven't traveled anywhere because my human parents don't want to stress me out with too much media and traveling. So other than pictures and videos (which I really don't realize are being taken most of the time) my days are no different than before all of this happened.
Your two feline siblings are an orange tabby and a black tuxedo kitty. Did it ever occur to you that each “half” of your face looks like one of them, like you could be their little “love kitten?”
Yes, in fact, that's what drew my human Mommy to me when she first saw my picture. She thought it was cute that I looked like 1/2 Mojo & 1/2 Ginger. She didn't even realize my eyes were different colors at first. None of us are related and we came from different places, all rescues, but people do think they're my parents when they see the 3 of us.
Where is your favorite spot for a catnap?
My favorite place would have to be our big green chair or at the very top of my 7 ft high cat tower. Every night I sleep in my queen size bed that I allow my human parents to share with me and usually Ginger and Halo (one of the dogs) too. When it's cold all of us snuggle up together.
What are five words that describe your personality?
Cute - Sweet - Loving - Cuddly - Easygoing
In your YouTube videos, you seem to love performing for the camera. Have you always been such a ham?
What motivated you to produce a Venus plushie, t-shirt, calendar and other cool stuff?
The idea for the plushies and other items came from my fans. My human Mom didn't really think about that when she built my Facebook page. She did that for fun since my picture was put on Reddit by someone we didn't know and went viral. But fans started asking, and now there will be lots of Venus products coming out this year!
If a genie granted you three wishes, what would you wish for?
My first wish would be that there were no unwanted, mistreated or starving animals in the world. My second wish would be to have better funding available to the shelters so that so many innocent animals don't have to be put to sleep when the shelters are overcrowded. My third wish would be to have more control over breeders and to have more trap, spay and release trucks on the road to control the stray population. I would honestly give up cat treats to see all my fellow animal friends in the world living happy lives.
Tell me something about yourself that people might not know.
When nobody is looking I sneak the most giant pieces of dog food out of the dog's bowl and eat them. And if I'm caught by one of the dogs I start growling like I'm a dog and scare them away. I get along with everyone, but sometimes a little tiny girl has to show how tough she is!
Photos courtesy of Venus the Amazing Chimera Cat
Read more articles by Julia Williams