Flippers the Cat won’t be going to the Rainbow Bridge anytime soon, thanks to a high school robotics club.
The nine-month-old cat was born with a spinal cord defect in which her spine was twisted like a piece of rope, leaving her back legs partially paralyzed.
Flippers was brought to the Aspen Park Veterinary Hospital in Colorado. Kittens with similar injuries are often euthanized, but the vet hospital decided to enlist help from an unlikely source: the Robotics Club at Conifer High School.
Using a computer-assisted drawing program, the students created 3-D images of how a kitty wheelchair might work. A few prototypes later, they completed a design with two wheels, a harness and duct tape that looks like something straight out of There, I Fixed It.
It was zoom zoom zoom for Flippers the minute she got her wheels.
Now she wears the harness for a couple of hours a day and races around the clinic until she’s out of breath. Still getting a feel for the wheels, her only problem is when she cuts corners a little too fast and close, which sends her sliding.
She helps power the harness by kicking her legs. The vets say this will increase her mobility and strength and they are hopeful that in turn, her spine will loosen up and she’ll be able to walk on her own.
In the meantime, she jets around the office in her FURRari. The office has adopted Flipper while she undergoes her rehabilitation.
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Sites That Link to this Post
- Flipper the cat gets a new set of wheels (tension breaker story and video) | January 26, 2013