Earlier this week the Web was swept with photos of Venus, a "two-faced" cat described as a "chimera" cat, apparently a reference to the genetic concept of an animal composed of two or more animals' genes, rather than the mythological amalgamation of a lion, goat, and snake.
The photographs are cute and impressive, they seem as though they have to be real, but it is the Internet, and Photoshoppers can make pretty much anything appear real, so it's difficult to say whether or not Venus is a real freak of nature, or just a silly gag created by pranksters to set the Internet abuzz and generate Web traffic.
The most credible possibility for what's going on with Venus is that she is a so-called tortoiseshell cat with very unique markings. Tortoiseshell colorings occur almost exclusively in female felines, backing up the claim that Venus actually is a tortoiseshell kitty.
Tortoiseshell cats have a wide range of possible marking patterns, from patches of various colors to more woven, striped or integrated arrangements.
But one other type of tortoiseshell cat which is apparently not as rare as many people would expect, is the kind that Venus apparently is. It's a tortoiseshell cat with two distinct colors on its face, separated by along a line running down the bridge of its nose.
So, despite how crazy the photos of the Venus the "two-faced" cat may be to the uninitiated, and setting the comparisons to the famed Batman villain aside, it turns out that Venus really is most likely a real cat, not the product of an Internet hoax.