A stray cat in Bulgaria is walking on all fours again after losing his hind legs in an accident.
Pooh the cat was given two bionic legs, in what vets say is the first such operation in Europe outside Britain. His story almost sounds like the plot of the 70s TV series “Six Million Dollar Man” in which former astronaut, Colonel Steve Austin, becomes the world’s first bionic man.
Pooh, whose name means “fluff” in Bulgarian, is thought to have lost his back legs in a train accident, according to the animal charity Let’s Adopt, which paid for his surgery.
Let’s Adopt brought the 1-year-old cat to Central Vet Clinic where his veterinarians considered several options: euthanasia, patch him up as best they could knowing he would still struggle as a two-legged cat, or try the innovative route of fitting him with special prosthetics. They chose the latter.
Bulgarian veterinary surgeon Vladislav Zlatinov is believed to be the first vet in Eastern Europe to successfully perform the cutting edge procedure pioneered by Irish neuro-orthopaedic surgeon Noel Fitzpatrick.
It involves implanting titanium rods into the leg bones and then attaching prosthetics paws to the rods.
If all goes well, Pooh’s skin will eventually grow over the bone and rods tightly enough to prevent infections, Zlatinov told Agence France-Presse.
“Pooh’s condition is more than satisfactory,” he told the press agency. “There might be some clumsiness but he can walk, jump and run.”
Zlatinov has already performed the surgery on another cat brought in by Let’s Adopt.
Seems like Zlatinov is creating a team of bionic cat secret agents to follow in the footsteps of Colonel Steve Austin. Now that’s a TV series we’d like to watch.