Aug. 29, 2012 at 8:19 AM ET
The newest viral sensation from the feline world is totally two-faced, and Photoshop has nothing to do with it.
Venus, a striking-looking cat with two different color eyes and fur that is divided right down the middle between black and ginger, has warmed hearts as her pictures go viral on Reddit, Facebook and in a YouTube video with more than 600,000 views. Online conspiracy theorists suspected Photoshop, or even someone spray-painting the cat ("Meet the Parents"-style), but an appearance by Venus and her owners, Christina and Chris, on TODAY Wednesday showed that it’s all real.
“We’ve heard everything from Photoshop to we’ve dyed half of her face,’’ Christina, who did not want her last name used, told Savannah Guthrie. “This is just the way she was born, that’s it.’’
One side of the cat is black with a green eye, and the other is calico with a blue eye. Christina, who lives in Florida, first heard about the cat from a friend who worked on a dairy farm in North Carolina. Venus was a feral stray living on the farm, and Christina’s friend snapped a few photos and put them on Facebook.
“We have an orange tabby and a black tuxedo at home, so when I first saw her, I said, ‘Oh my gosh, she looks like a combination of both our cats,’’’ Christina said. “We didn’t at that time see the eyes, so Chris’s first reaction was, ‘We do not need any more animals.’ When we zoomed in on her eyes, we were just awestruck. I said, ‘We just have to have this cat.’’’
Her friend asked the farmer for permission to have her, and he was happy to have the cat go to a good home. After a trip to the veterinarian to be checked out, Venus moved in with Christina and Chris in Florida.
Someone posted pictures of Venus on Reddit on Aug. 24, and the post received nearly a million views. Christina created a Facebook page about her “amazing chimera cat” that now has more than 32,000 likes.
Venus has not been officially authenticated to be a chimera cat, which would mean that she is composed of two populations of genetically distinct cells that originated from different zygotes. But while Venus has not been DNA-tested, according to Christina, the striking two-tone tabby proved on Wednesday that she is 100 percent real.
Scott Stump also has not had any Photoshop work done on his face.
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