Oscar is a very elegant black cat who lives on Jersey in England’s Channel Islands. When he was only two and a half years old, his life nearly came to an abrupt end. He was snoozing in a cornfield when a combine harvester chopped of his hind feet. As Oscar’s human dad recalled, “It was very traumatic, I was convinced we were going to have to put him down at this point.” The local vet was able to stabilize the cat’s condition and put him on strong painkillers. He also suggested they get in touch with Noel Fitzpatrick, a vet in mainland England who was doing groundbreaking work in prosthetics.
According to his human mom, “Oscar is a very chilled cat, he is very laid back, he takes things well which led to the surgeons in Surrey describing him as a very suitable candidate for this kind of surgery.” Still, she was nervous. “It was the uncertainty, nobody knew what the outcome would be because it had never been done before, we were in the hands of the surgeons. Right the way along they said ‘we’d do everything we can but we’ve never done it before’, there were no guarantees. We really trusted Noel for the work he was doing and we went with it.”
Happily, the surgery was successful. Dr. Fitzpatrick installed metal pegs but with bioengineering that mimics the way antlers grow out of a deer’s skin. Soft cylinder-shaped “feet” can then be fitted to the pegs. As a final touch, the vet wrapped the beige-colored “feet” with black tape, quipping, “I’m not going to put brown feet on a black cat.” As you’ll see in the video posted below, Oscar was immediately able to get up and walk around! Dr. Fitzpatrick added, “He’s just the best cat in the world. I can’t tell you how good it feels too keep him alive. And to think he would have been put to sleep.”
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