If this is how our planet becomes overrun with cyborg cats it’s gonna be totally worth it.
Vincent the Cat (no relation to Felix) has become a viral sensation thanks to a pair of titanium alloy accessories attached to his furry body. This Midwestern cat was born without rear tibias, but some hustle and ingenuity from Iowa State University’s Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences and veterinary implant company BioMedtrix are lending our pal an assist. They outfitted Vincent with prosthetic legs using 3D modeling and printing techniques and have made this feline into a bit of a pioneer.
Here’s what Dr. Mary Sarah Bergh had to say about this unique animal health development:
“I think this does open the door for us to be able to help other animals that have similar problems. And even what we’ve learned just through Vincent’s one case, we’ve actually refined the technique and the implants, so the next cases we do moving forward will be even more successful.”
A brief video featuring Vincent in action has been a smash online despite the internet’s well-known disinterest in cats and cat-related activities. The ISU News Service clip that we’ve plunked at the top of this post (WATCH IT!) is on the cusp of cracking 600,000 views since its debut on December 2. If you’re worried about the length of Vincent’s new legs, here are some extra details on the subject from the news outlet.
The legs are in the process of being lengthened, as Dr. Bergh talks about in the video. In fact, they are already longer than the were immediately after surgery. And they will be lengthened at least 2 more times, until they are eventually the same length as his front legs. The reason for the delay is because Vincent, and his bones, need time to adjust to the length and weight of the prostheses. Making them too long, too soon, would be too much stress on the bones, and would make it more difficult to learn how to walk with no acclimation period.
We look forward to Vincent’s inevitable playdate with Oscar: The Bionic Cat.