At barely three years of age, Oscar has certainly already used one – if not more – of his 9 lives. Having lost both his back paws in an accident last October (a combine ran over them while he was sleeping in a field- I still don’t understand how he didn’t wake up from the noise) he is now the first kitty to have prosthetic paws! A bionic kitty if you will.
Thankfully a stranger found Oscar bleeding profusely and carried him to his home. His local New Jersey (England, not US it seems! Oops!) vet could not help beyond stopping the bleeding and managing Oscar’s pain, but he suggested the family contact Noel Fitzpatrick, a veterinary surgeon based in Surrey England.
In Surrey, Oscar endured a three hour surgery, during which he was fitted with prosthetic pegs developed by a team from the University College London. Holes were drilled into his legs and metal rods inserted into his ankle bone. The rods extend beyond his fur and that’s where the prosthetic paws are attached. It’s pretty amazing that his body didn’t reject the metal and get infected but instead, grew around the metal pegs kind of like how deer fur and skin grows around the base of the antler.
In the video you will get to meet Oscar and the amazing Dr Fitzpatrick. The scene where he sees Oscar get up on his new paws for the first time is very touching. This Wednesday the BBC is airing a special about Dr Fitzpatrick called the “Bionic Vet” featuring Oscar’s amazing journey.
Okay, it’s nice that the doctor wants the paws to match the rest of kitty, but duct tape? Don’t they have black paint in England? Well the good news is that he wore out the first pair so now he has much cooler looking “blade runner” style prosthesis (one article stated he was already on his 4th pair!).
From now on though, Oscar has to be an indoor cat since his paws don’t have sensitivity to hot and cold. From the looks of it, I think he’s not going to mind that one bit (check out the video of Oscar now below!).