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Meet Quimera, the one-of-a-kind 'two-faced' feline with the most striking features

Meet Quimera, the one-of-a-kind 'two-faced' feline with the most striking features

With two different colored eyes and a furry face almost perfectly split down the middle with two different colors, this exotic feline may just be the most stunning cat to ever cross your feed.

When the cat gods were creating Quimera, they thought to themselves: "Wait, what if two cats mashed together is better than just one?!" Well, I can't say for sure if those were their exact words but I'm guessing it was something close. Whatever the thought process, the end result of their cat-mixing experiment is truly spectacular. With two different colored eyes and a furry face almost perfectly split down the middle with two different colors, this exotic feline may just be the most stunning cat to ever cross your feed.



 

According to PEOPLE, Quimera belongs to a line of a rare, V.I.P. group of pussycats who may (or may not) be chimeras. And what exactly is a chimera? As Columbia University Professor of Genetics and Development, Virginia Papaioannou, explained to the New Republic, "A chimera is a composite individual that was made up of cells from at least two different original embryos. If they fuse together early enough, they will become a single organism whose genetic input is from two completely different individuals."



 

Papaioannou speculates that Quimera and her similarly striking viral cat predecessor, Venus, are examples of calico cats. "It’s a fairly straightforward example of X-inactivation mosaicism, with the addition of a white spotting gene. All female mammals have two X-chromosomes. (Males have an X and a Y.) But both X chromosomes aren’t active: In every cell of the body, one of the two X chromosomes is inactivated. (That balances out the effect of the X chromosomes in males and females; since females have twice as many, it makes sense that half of theirs would be inactive.)"



 

"In a cat, one gene for fur color is located on the X chromosome. And in any female, expression of all the genes that are on the X chromosome will be “mosaic”—that is, half of them will express one version of the gene (e.g., black fur) and half will express the other version of the gene (e.g., orange fur). The inactivation is random. Here we are talking about the orange/black mosaicism, which is highly visible, but the same pattern will hold true for other genes on the X that have two different versions—or alleles," Papaioannou explained. "In a mosaic, there’s only one individual and it just happens to have different genetic components active in its cells. A chimera would be a much more unusual and unlikely event."



 

As for their different colored eyes, Papaioannou believes "it must be the white spotting gene that’s affecting her eyes because the blue eye has a lack of melanin. The white spotting gene, the piebald gene, is probably affecting the two eyes differently. One has a sort of normal color and one is blue, which is basically a lack of pigment."



 

Whatever be the science behind Quimera's strikingly good looks, you've got to admit, she's one gorgeous kitty. Check out some of her stunning portraits here:

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