Biscuits and Gravy, a two-faced kitten, died on Saturday night, nearly four days after being born on a farm east of Albany.
The King family was saddened by the loss of their young barn cat, but they hope the brief life of “Biscuits” provides a larger lesson that every creature is precious and worth fighting for — even a feline with two mouths, two noses and four eyes.
“We knew it was rare and it was special and we thought it deserved as good a chance as any of the other kittens to live,” said B.J. King, the patriarch of the family. “He had some pretty steep uphill odds, and it just didn’t work out.”
The family has five children aged 4 to 18, but the kitten’s death was especially hard on King’s wife, Kyla King. “She spent every minute with that cat. She packed him around and did everything she could to keep him alive,” King added.
Felines with two faces are often called Janus cats, after the Roman god with two faces. Many of those cats don’t live longer than a few days.
“He lived longer than we ever could have hoped for. You just hope you have the one cat like this that beats the odds,” King said.
On Friday night, after the Christian family realized Biscuits wasn’t going to die immediately, Kyla King had a realization, her husband said. “She said, ‘We need to make sure people see the love of God through us, and they see that we care. All of his creatures are special and important, and we value life,’” King recalled.
Biscuits drew widespread media coverage and King said that the experience was surreal, especially for a farm family that doesn’t like attention.
It all started with a Facebook post on a local community page. “It was the most innocent post, like, ‘Hey, have any of you guys seen this sort of thing?’ It went so big, so fast. It was out of our control within hours,” King said. Things snowballed after the Democrat-Herald and a Portland television station ran stories, and the family started getting interview requests from CNN, the BBC, USA Today, the New York Post and other huge media outlets.
“It blew me away how much of a story it was. People really love cats. It’s amazing,” King said.
Once they realized how much attention Biscuits was getting, the King family made their own Facebook page for the critter, so people could follow the cat’s story.
King said that 99 percent of the public reaction has been kind and supportive. There were people who wanted to adopt the kitten, and others who offered money to buy it so they could raise it as a pet. Then there were several “weirdos” who wanted to pay for the body of the feline, King said.
“We aren’t looking for attention. We aren’t taking money for anything,” King said.
“We were just trying to share a really unique experience with everybody. And I want my life to go back to normal now,” he added.
Kyle Odegard can be contacted at 541-812-6077 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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