Oscar, a very handsome black cat, was living a charmed life on Jersey in England’s Channel Islands but it nearly came to an abrupt end one day when he was snoozing in a cornfield. The unfortunate cat lost one of his nine lives and both his hind feet to a combine harvester. 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.” After stabilizing the cat and putting him on powerful painkillers, the local vet suggested they get in touch with Noel Fitzpatrick, a vet in mainland England who was doing pioneering work in prosthetic limbs for animals.
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.” Understandably, she was still 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.”
Fortunately, the surgery was a success. Dr. Fitzpatrick installed metal pegs in Oscar’s stumps that accept soft cylinder-shaped “feet.” The vet added a nice touch: he wrapped the beige-colored “feet” in black tape, quipping, “I’m not going to put brown feet on a black cat.”
As you’ll see in the video posted below, the incredible thing is that Oscar was able to get up and walk around right away. Dr. Fitzpatrick was putting it mildly when he said, “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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