I'm not going to put brown feet on a black cat
June 25, 2010 5:28 AM   Subscribe

Bionic feet for amputee cat

Noel Fitzpatrick, AKA The Bionic Vet, gives new mobility to Oscar the Cat, who lost his hind feet in a combine harvester.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts (55 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Why would anyone harvest cat feet?
posted by Daddy-O at 5:31 AM on June 25, 2010 [12 favorites]


There must have been a shortage of rabbit feet.
posted by mmmbacon at 5:32 AM on June 25, 2010


Did anybody besides me flash to "Help! A Bear is Eating Me!" by Mykle Hansen?
posted by bovious at 5:40 AM on June 25, 2010


Good for Oscar! He looks just like the the cat we used to have, the late Otis (Mr. Puddy), who recently passed on at the ripe old age of 13. He was the most mellow cat.
posted by Daddy-O at 5:40 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bilingueponysterical?
posted by uncleozzy at 5:42 AM on June 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


Well that was just awesome.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:42 AM on June 25, 2010


Tape! Ugh, that's going to look like crap in two days. Put some heat shrink on those things for dignity's sake.

So wait, the last link is dated today and shows completely different feet than the "custom engineered" ones in the first video. Did they redesign them?
posted by Popular Ethics at 5:47 AM on June 25, 2010


Bionic cats does not sound like a good idea.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:48 AM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Dear askme: What's the easiest way to chop off my cat's legs? Also, best online store for tiny roller skates?
posted by orme at 5:51 AM on June 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


Bilingueponysterical?

*wink*
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 5:51 AM on June 25, 2010


Why would anyone harvest cat feet?

Dude, have you even TRIED cat feet? Yowza!
posted by blue_beetle at 6:02 AM on June 25, 2010


This post is useless without that buhnuhnuhnuhnuh bionic sound.
posted by DU at 6:03 AM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


The opening to this show would never work:

Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first bionic cat. Oscar will be that cat. We can make him better than he was before. Cuter, cuddlier, ...you're a kitty! Who's the cutest little cyborg feline? You are!"
posted by griphus at 6:13 AM on June 25, 2010 [8 favorites]


I heard the movie version of this story will feature Arnold Schwarzenegger as the cat.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:16 AM on June 25, 2010


I don't see any "onic."
posted by Tube at 6:16 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Poor kitty.
posted by Artw at 6:18 AM on June 25, 2010


If that was my cat I would change his name to Jack (Sparrow), Blackbeard, Pegleg, Stumpy, Hop-a-long, or Steve (Austin).
posted by Daddy-O at 6:18 AM on June 25, 2010


You know he does this.
posted by stormpooper at 6:19 AM on June 25, 2010


Surgical HIGH FIVE!
posted by piratebowling at 6:29 AM on June 25, 2010


What I want to know is what Oscar thinks about all of this. Is he a happy cat?
posted by QIbHom at 6:31 AM on June 25, 2010


For God's sake, just don't give him thumbs...
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:36 AM on June 25, 2010


Is he a happy cat?

stop it. he's a cat. he's never satisfied with anything.

but i love it!
posted by msconduct at 6:36 AM on June 25, 2010


It's amazing that they got the cat to rebuild tissue over the implant like that. Very cool!
posted by Mister_A at 6:44 AM on June 25, 2010


Questions:

1. How has this affected his cornering ability? Curious mice need to know.

2. How is acceleration / braking on hard surfaces affected? Mice and other small creatures need to know this too.

3. Are his footsteps (pawsteps?) now audible? 3 blind mice need to know.
posted by markx2 at 6:48 AM on June 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


Is this technology expected to be successful on cloned kitties and has the Olympic Committee commented?
posted by downonthebayou at 6:50 AM on June 25, 2010


Awww, bionic kitty!

However, watching a man in surgical scrubs reach for a roll of duct tape is surprisingly unsettling.
posted by xthlc at 6:59 AM on June 25, 2010


I. AM. IRON CAT.
posted by The Whelk at 7:02 AM on June 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


So the bionic cat is named Oscar?! Too perfect.
posted by sourwookie at 7:09 AM on June 25, 2010




A combine harvester? I believe he spent 8 of his 9 right there. Also, I'd be looking at some sort of zero-entry litterbox for ol' Oscar.
posted by jquinby at 7:16 AM on June 25, 2010


the cat
came in
on little
metal feet.
posted by The Whelk at 7:17 AM on June 25, 2010 [14 favorites]


Cats are fairly adaptable when it comes to missing paws, legs, and such. At one point a friend's cat had showed up at the house, minus a limb, but once healed, he still continued to slaughter wildlife and bring it home. I had to make a little jazzy tune to sing to him:

Sid, Sid, the three-legged cat
Nobody knows where the fourth leg is at
He hops and he bops and he stumbles around
It's not four on the floor
But three on the ground

O Sid's a mighty hunter
Slayer of rodentkind
Bloody mangled rabbits
Left on the floor for you to find!

Sid, Sid, the three-legged cat ...


I don't think he appreciated it too much, but cats are fairly fickle about the whole appreciation concept. I couldn't find anything about the inside of the implant used on Oscar, but there's a chance that under the hydroxyapatite they could use a titanium foam, instead of solid titanium, for the implant. Not only is titanium foam lighter, but its modulus of elasticity is similar to that of actual bone. One problem with current titanium implants is that the implant is so strong, it dominates the load bearing and so the surrounding bone dies off because it "isn't needed." This causes a loosening of the implant, which, you know, bad.
posted by adipocere at 7:17 AM on June 25, 2010 [11 favorites]


Whatever, my pets' vet put death-ray laser eyes in my budgie.
posted by Mister_A at 7:22 AM on June 25, 2010


is it just me, or did anyone else get something in their eye while watching this video? its just the darndest thing...
posted by lisawin at 7:51 AM on June 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


is it just me, or did anyone else get something in their eye while watching this video?

As a cat lover, I'm not ashamed to admit I shed a few tears when that frisky kitty started scooting around on his little prosthetic feet.
posted by Verdandi at 8:02 AM on June 25, 2010


I love the part where the vet chokes up when Oscar jumps up onto the barrier.
This is very touching.

And yay for duct tape.

All that aside, the technology in this is amazing. It makes me wonder how dental implants work. Is it something similar-and this group is just expanding the technology- or is this groundbreaking stuff?
posted by SLC Mom at 8:03 AM on June 25, 2010


The duct tape was actually the thing that sold me on this being up and coming technology. everything I know about being around engineering labs says that the prototype is never pretty. All the projects I've seen look like the sort of repair job you find in slum apartments, with little filaments of wire tracing off everywhere and gooey silicone sealer hand smoothed into the cracks so there's fingerprints.

All this needs is a bank of Iranians in the corner doing computer modeling, while the hands on engineers make snide comments.

I'm wondering if they used that honeycomb structure mothboy's friend is working on, to replace lost bone tissue in a way that causes the bone to grow into it.
posted by Phalene at 8:04 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


"modulus of elasticity" may be the coolest phrase I'll read today.
posted by jquinby at 8:10 AM on June 25, 2010


This is awesome, but they're going to regret requesting the laser eyes and killer bee breath for Oscar.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:10 AM on June 25, 2010


From his bio:

Noel believes fervently that “all animal guardians should be given all treatment options and that evolution of technique and device must go hand-in-hand with evolution of the acknowledgement that animals are sentient creatures and as such we have a moral and ethical responsibility to ensure compassionate care, which is the cornerstone of a civilized society and is integral to our progress as a species. Just because something can be done does not make it the right thing to do – it must be in the interest of each individual patient. Our aim is functional pain-free quality of life for a single patient and if that contributes to advances for all animals and all humans, then that can only be a good thing.”

As someone that formerly used animals in research and is an animal lover, I've always had a conflict between the science side of me that understands the need for using animals and the sympathy side of me that rejects causing pain and death to animals for our own benefit. I've tried to reconcile my thoughts a thousand ways - nature is cruel and research is no worse, it's all for the best, you eat meat so don't be a hypocrite, etc. The justifications help you get past the issue, not make you feel terribly better about hurting specific animals for your research - your benefit.

Once recently I was talking to a researcher that used dogs to develop what is now a very well established medical device. In my heart I had a hard time looking at data regarding these dogs, subjected to surgery and injury, then repair and ultimately death, all in the name of product design. This was especially true when I came home to my own dogs, playing fetch with them, rubbing their tummies, and realizing that in another world I wouldn't have adopted them from the humane society - they might have ended up in the lab. It brought back too many memories of my own past research, and for a while I felt that old sense of conflict and guilt even though I was not performing the research, I was just reading about it.

Sensing that discomfort, the researcher turned me and told me the stories of how the vet school was now using the device from time to time in dogs to save their lives. I brightened up a bit. Then I thought of all the wonderful medicine and technology that have gone into caring for my dogs and how that too likely came from animal research. These justifications help, but they are still justifications for hurting and usually killing an otherwise healthy animal.

As, I watched the video of Oscar, I couldn't help but think he was part medical experiment and part humanitarian effort to help a fellow creature. Judging by Dr. Fitzpatrick's bio, that seems to be true. Those legs he's standing on are undoubtedly built on a long history of research by those other than Noel where fellow animals suffered and died to bring medical advancement. I applaud this "bionic vet" for his efforts to develop and use this technology for the benefit of the animals he sees as well as for humans. That idea - the use of animal research for our mutual benefit right down to the level of the animal used in the experiment - represents a revolution in scientific research.
posted by Muddler at 9:01 AM on June 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


this was freaking awesome. big ups to dr. fitzpatrick. (and oscar looks like a slightly burlier version of a cat i used to know and love, which made for a sweet little emotional gut-punch. awww, kitties.)
posted by palomar at 9:03 AM on June 25, 2010


I wish there was a way to teach that cat to say "Come with me...if you want to live!"
posted by ignignokt at 9:36 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


sourwookie: So the bionic cat is named Oscar?! Too perfect.

Another double-amputee Oscar was the first person I thought of.
posted by hangashore at 9:37 AM on June 25, 2010


This is super cool. I totally admit to getting weepy when the cat jumped up on the barrier. It must have been a long time since he could do that. Go Science!
posted by troublewithwolves at 9:56 AM on June 25, 2010


Sid, Sid, the three legged cat...

Have you / will you put that on MeFi Music? If not, can I? I had a cat named Sid, although he doesn't quite fit the description. But really adipocere, gnarly song, I'm gonna sing it.
posted by randomyahoo at 10:03 AM on June 25, 2010


adipocere, I don't know how I could favorite that Sid the Cat song any harder (but if I did, you can be sure I would)!
posted by S'Tella Fabula at 10:07 AM on June 25, 2010


EXTREME DECLAWING GONE WRONG! NEXT ON METAFILTER!
posted by blue_beetle at 10:25 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bionic cats does not sound like a good idea.

Correct. It actually sounds like a TOTALLY AWESOME idea.


omg i would teach it to tapdance with its little metal feets
posted by elizardbits at 10:31 AM on June 25, 2010


Why would anyone harvest cat feet?

Fuckin' fog, how does it work?
posted by Sys Rq at 11:06 AM on June 25, 2010


Oscar is jumping up on stuff. Of course he's happy. He can once again get to places where he can knock stuff onto the floor.

(this is awesome)
posted by sandraregina at 12:00 PM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


"modulus of elasticity" may be the coolest phrase I'll read today

A troll wouldn't come up with a name like Teacup. A little girl would ... mmm, Modulus.
posted by Faze at 1:30 PM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seriously? Nobody has made the "cat now has faux paws" joke yet?
posted by madmethods at 8:43 PM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


And if you throw the cat in the air, not only will it land on its feet, it will spring up and rip your face off for doing that in the first place.
posted by bwg at 2:53 AM on June 26, 2010


Ultimate Cat Force Field
posted by homunculus at 11:00 AM on June 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Update: Looks like he got newer hind "paws" attached.
posted by dhens at 8:05 AM on June 28, 2010


« Older Tennyson Anyone?   |   Start, Approach, Take Off, Flight, Roll, Penalty Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments