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Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Oscar the Bionic Cat

I first saw this story on the news (and cried a little bit) a while ago, and when perusing BBC iplayer I found the documentary about it and watched it about an hour ago.

I have to say, this story is amazing.

Oscar the cat (pictured) had both his back feet taken off when sunbathing in a maize field near his home in Jersey, when a combine harvester caught both his back legs.

Luckily, the local vet had heard of a man in Surrey, Noel Fitzpatrick of Fitzpatrick Referrals, who was a man who used engineering with veterinary practice to help animals who would otherwise be put down. After meeting Oscar and his owner, Noel agreed that Oscar, who was only two years old and of an "above average personality" was a perfect candidate for a thus far theoretical procedure. If the experimental practice succeeded, Oscar would be the first ever Bionic cat, having metal pegs bonded to the bones in his ankles via a drilled hole and chemical covering to encourage bone cell growth.

Basically, after a three hour surgery, healing time and a quick connecting of the prosthetic feet to the protruding joint, Oscar was up on his feet and even climbing around the surgery. Noel's reaction to the success of the operation had me a little bit tearful, it was lovely!

You can see this and more of Noel's work on BBC iplayer, under "Bionic Vet"

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