Friday, January 25, 2013

Does Your Pet Have a Doppelganger?


By Julia Williams

I can’t count the times I’ve looked at someone – either in person or a photograph – and thought “Gosh, they sure look like so-and-so.” I hear about this happening to others too, so often that I’m sure every person on the planet will have this same experience many times over the course of their life.

I once hypothesized (not seriously, just in fun) that the reason it happened was because our faces were created from “molds” that were reused. Some molds were eventually altered to create different features, but overall a finite number of molds were available. Hence, in our lifetime we were bound to come across people who looked remarkably like other people, and even…people who looked just like us!

These body doubles are sometimes called doppelgangers, a German word meaning “double-goer.” In folklore, doppelgangers were malicious ghostly doubles that haunted their more innocent counterparts and confused their friends and relatives. (Could the doppelganger legend possibly be where the term “evil twin” came from?). Nowadays, a doppelganger is simply any double or look-alike of a person.

Some people say that everyone has a doppelganger. Although there’s no proof of this, there are many stories about cases of mistaken identity, and some have disastrous consequences. For example, a doppelganger commits a crime and an innocent man is sent to jail. I have never seen my doppelganger, but I sure do hope she is a law abiding citizen!

If we believe that every human has a doppelganger out there somewhere – I’m not convinced but I haven’t rejected the theory, either – then what about our pets? Could dogs and cats have doppelgangers, too? Well, sure. Why not!

My sister’s yellow tabby cat, Sultan, definitely has a doppelganger. Sultan was just a young cat when he went missing. My sister searched for him and found a cat that looked just like him. He didn’t act exactly the same, but she figured his personality was a bit different because of what he’d been through. Not long after, she found the real Sultan! So now she has two cats, Sultan and Sully, who look exactly alike.

Okay, so there are lots of tabbies and black cats that look remarkably similar. There are also a lot of retrievers, labs, collies and such that closely resemble others of their breed. But what about cats and dogs with distinct features? Is there a doppelganger out there for them, too?

I used to think I would never, ever see another cat that looked like my tuxedo kitty, Annabelle. I believed that the ever-so-slightly lopsided black diamond on her nose made her a one-of-a-kind feline. Yet one day while reading one of my favorite blogs, Catself, I stopped dead in my tracks. There was Annabelle! Only… it wasn’t Annabelle, it was Barney, the blogger’s new cat. Barney was the spitting image of Annabelle, right down to that adorable black diamond nose pattern. So is Barney the doppelganger of Annabelle, or vice versa? Who knows!

Roxie the Moggie
Shortly thereafter, I came across Roxie the Moggie on Facebook. She was another Annabelle doppelganger! The resemblance was uncanny. Ever the imaginative one, I began to wonder if perhaps some of us not only have “evil twins” but triplets! And then I found yet another kitty, Nelson, who wasn’t a near match to Annabelle, Barney and Roxie, but could convincingly play any of them in a movie.

I still do a double take every time I see photos of Barney and Roxie. It’s like looking at Annabelle, only she’s right here with me, snuggled over my shoulder and purring away. She’s an outright sweetheart, the most loving cat I’ve ever known. Which means that Barney and Roxie must be her mischievous doppelgangers…right? :-)

Do you think your pet could have a doppelganger out there somewhere?

Read more articles by Julia Williams


  1. I do think there are tons of look alikes in the world especially with black and tabby cats. I don't think I have ever seen a twin of mine. But great ideas.

  2. Hey, I have seen several of me all over the place!

  3. OMCs three are like peas in a pod.
    Laila, from Laila and Minchie, and Madi call each other long lost sisters. They are nearly identical.
    Hugs madi your BFFF

  4. Absolutely we think pets have look-alikes!!!
    I get photos posted on my Facebook Page like that pretty often. Usually they only sort of look like me...but there's a tuxedo named Batman that is my TWIN!!! It's almost scary.

    But what scared me more is how tempted Glogirly is to change my name to Batgirl.
    ; ) Katie

  5. Sammy and Moosey have some dopplegangers right at PAWS! We even call Max, who lives in the PAWS kitchen, "Moosey Junior." MOL!

  6. Absolutely, we believe this! Sometimes, we'll see someone who looks just like our Pia or Olivia and just recently, a foster kitty nearby who looks just like our Zooot who passed last year. It's fun to think they might have been sisters or long-lost aunties and nieces a couple generations passed.

  7. Hi Julia, Roxie the Moggie here, we really enjoyed your article and think that there must be hundreds of me, Nelsons and Annabelle's out there! We are still looking for my sister Abbey's doppelganger but her mother is identical to Abbey! Thanks for putting me in!

  8. *I* think of myself as completely unique in all of catdom. But my Human says I look like every other black cat on the planet, and if there were a room full of us, she would only be able to pick me out from the others because of my sour personality. Frankly, I think that's sort of a mean comment, don't you?

  9. If you ask me, you cannot have too many Barneys. [signed, Barney]

    Who's asking you? And anyway, you can too have too many Barneys. There's one too many in this house. [signed, Bugs]

    Too many Barneys? No such thing. Anyway, the point really is that I am so happy to be in this wonderful company. [signed, Barney's and Bugs's Human, staff of Catself.]

  10. Our mom's first cat, Leia, was a Korat, and they ALL look alike! Hahaha! Seriously, yes, but we haven't met them. The mom has been told her twin in living in the next town over by a couple people, but she's never seen her.

    Our mom has done hypnosis, but seriously, to stop smoking. This might sound really weird, but she did past life regressions too for the fun of it and thinks she found out why she is afraid of heights.

  11. Lovely article!!!!
    And lovely sweet noses!!!!
    Marilia & Nelson

  12. Cool post Julia, loved it! And that would be a yes!


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