After being in a Roomba for so long, the 8-month-old kitten Cassidy is now one step closer to walking and jumping like other normal cats as he will soon have a new pair of high-tech bionic prosthetic legs, making him the "Blade Runner of Cats."
Cassidy was found and rescued by Shelly Roche in Aldergrove last year where there are no less than 200 feral cats. The cat lost its rear legs due to wounds in his stumps caused by E. coli. Roche also runs Tiny Kittens, a cat rescue organization in Langley.
"[The property owner] saw Cassidy walking around kind of like a reverse velociraptor with his little bum up in the air," said Roche.
This cat is also known from his several videos over the Internet where he rides a custom cat-wheelchair and a Roomba. He uses Roomba to roam around and go to his favorite spots.
This black-and-white cat just underwent the first step of procedure before he gets his bionic prosthetic legs. On Wednesday, Cassidy was injected with Botox in his hind legs to relax the muscles before placing the blades on his back limbs.
"This will be the first cat in the world to be fitted with prosthetic blades, so our hope today was just the final step before that surgery can be performed," said Dr. Mike Higgins, a neurologist with Canada West Veterinary Specialists.
Dr. Higgins used a special equipment called EMG or Electromyogram in detecting which muscles will benefit from the Botox. Botox aims to preserve Cassidy's legs before heading to North Carolina for the bionic prosthetic leg implant.
The Bionic Prosthetic Legs
Prosthetic legs are already done to dogs, and this is the first time that it will be used for cats.
"Definitely this is cutting-edge technology," said Higgins.
He added that this technology used by humans like MRI and CAT scans had also been a standard operating procedure in veterinary care. He predicts that around 10 to 15 years, prostheses will be more available for paralyzed and malformed animals.
Another expert is already working for the 3D printed model of Cassidy's bionic prosthetic legs.
The procedure of placing the bionic legs on Cassidy will be done in North Carolina State University, Raleigh in a few months time.
Cost Of The Procedure
According Roche, she had already spent almost $10,000 for the initial procedure and wasn't sure of the final cost. What she is aware of is that it takes about $20,000 per leg on the procedure to be done in NC State University.