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Surgery

The First Bionic Cat

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Meet Oscar, the world’s first bionic cat. After he lost both back paws in a painful accident with a combine harvester, his owners had little hope of his survival and much less of his ability to bounce around. But thanks to an incredible three-hour operation—the first of its kind—by Irish-born veterinary surgeon Noel Fitzpatrick, Oscar now sports prosthetic paws that allow him to be fully active once again, if only indoors. The implants, known as Itap (intraosseous transcutaneous amputation prosthetics) are a work of biology and engineering mechanics that hold hope for other wounded animals. “I can’t tell you how good it feels to keep him alive,” the overjoyed surgeon has been quoted as saying about making medical history with his feline friend.