Paws for thought: Oscar the bionic cat

A cat whose back legs were chopped off in a farming accident has been given a new bionic pair, in a ground-breaking feline first in Britain.

Two-and-a-half year old Oscar lost at least one of his nine lives when he was run over by a combine harvester last October - but eight months later he has regained a spring in his step.

The prosthetic paws were fitted by neuro-orthopaedic surgeon Noel Fitzpatrick, in a three-hour operation involving grafting the replacement legs onto the stumps of Oscar's remaining bones.

"The real revolution with Oscar is because we have put a piece of metal and flange into which skin grows into an extremely tight bone," said Fitzpatrick, who carried out the surgery last November.

"Oscar can now run and jump about as cats should do."

His owner Kate Nolan said: "We had to do a lot of soul-searching and our main concern has always been whether this operation would be in Oscar's best interests and would give him a better quality of life." - (Sapa, June 2010)

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